Skip to main content

Full text of "Fragments Of An Analysis With Freud"

See other formats

132 F89zwo 61*41927 $2,50 
Wortis, Joseph^ 1906- 

Fragments of an analysis with 
Freud* Simon and Schuster, 

kansas city public library 

Kansas city, missour 

ooks will be issued only 

on presentation of library card. 
Please report lost cards and 

change of residence promptly. 
Card holders are responsible for 

all books, records, films, pictures 
or other library materials 
checked out on their cards. 

3 11 48 

iiAR 1 4 .1380 

G-i -30 .!33J?.._ 

MAI" DEG221932 : 

APR 16*83 



of an Analysis with 






New York 






NEW YORK 20, N. Y. 




Table of Contents 


The Circumstances i 
First Meetings 8 
The Analysis 19 
Back Home 166 



THIS is A BOOK about Sigmund Freud and his theories, and not 
about me. Freud exerted a deep influence on his generation, 
and in this country at least an even greater influence on the 
generation that followed him. This is not the place to do jus- 
tice to his contributions or to elaborate on their significance. 
My main purpose is to give a picture of Freud as I saw him, 
and an account of some of his methods and views. Having 
had the opportunity as a student in my twenties to meet -with 
him daily over a period of months, and having kept a diary 
of these meetings, I now feel it is time to spread the record 
out for general use. 

The record is unique in more than one respect Not only 
was it kept accurate and complete, but the circumstances sur- 
rounding the experience were unusual. As a young psychiatrist 
holding a fellowship under the guidance and sponsorship of 
Havelock Ellis and Adolf Meyer, both of whom maintained 
a certain critical detachment from the psychoanalytic move- 
ment, I entered into a didactic analysis against the advice of 
Ellis, but with some scepticism of my own. For that reason 
a large proportion of the discussions with Freud dealt with 
questions of basic psychiatric theory. Freud permitted me to 
review his writings as we went along and I was bold or foolish 



enough to query the theories or formulations that I could not 
accept or grasp. Meanwhile I kept corresponding with my two 
aged mentors far away. 

1 thus found myself in the position of being a young man 
closely influenced by three very distinguished old men 7 each 
of whom held to quite distinctive points of view- It was a 
situation which was not likely to contribute to any rapid con- 
solidation of opinion and at times I felt badly battered by the 
pressures and uncertainties. And since the theories had to be 
demonstrated on my person, involving my delicate sensibili- 
ties, my situation was not always a pleasant one. 

Under the circumstances I was forced to try to find some 
of the answers for myself 7 and as my sessions with Freud con- 
tinued I began to acquire at least the germs of some con- 
victions. In this analytic relationship the subject, myself, thus 
managed to maintain the unusual posture of a somewhat 
wavering and conflicted but nonetheless obdurate inde- 

I have no intention of perpetuating the discussion on the 
material of my own person. If I am to be dissected, I would 
prefer on general humane principles to have it done as a post- 
mortem. I also have no wish to achieve distinction by posing 
naked in the street. I have therefore bowdlerized this account 
without, I am sure, distorting it. I have spared the sensibilities 
of a few people named in my notes, including myself, by omit- 
ting anything of an unduly compromising or embarrassing 
character. The deletions are however very few and without 
effect on the essential accuracy of the story. Our conversations 
were all in German, but I kept my notes in English, with fre- 
quent inclusion of the German words and phrases that Freud 
used. All the quotations are exactly as they stand in my notes, 
usually written down immediately after each session, in a 




nearby coffeehouse, on the 4 % 6-inch cards I always carried 
with me. The impulse to keep a record of our talks arose quite 
naturally out of the realization that my period of contact with 
Freud would be limited, and I wanted to reconsider the ex- 
perience at leisure. Havelock Ellis, who read all the original 
notes, wrote, "they do not reveal anything about you." Never- 
theless I am sure they will supply plentiful material for fan- 
ciful elaboration for those who like that sort of thing. 

Thanks are due to the American Journal of Psychiatry and 
to the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry for permission to 
reprint material previously published in those journals. 


of an Analysis with 



THE circumstances leading to my contacts with Freud were 
these. In 1927 during my first trip abroad, at the age of 
twenty, I had the good fortune of meeting Havelock Ellis, a 
literary and scientific hero of my college days, and we main- 
tained a friendly correspondence throughout the succeeding 
years of my medical studies abroad. Upon the completion of 
these studies, while I was serving an interneship at Bellevue 
Psychiatric Hospital in 1933, Dr. Paul Schilder, who was 
then Research Professor at the hospital, surprised me one day 
with the information that Dr. Adolf Meyer of Johns Hopkins 
Hospital, the leading American psychiatrist of his time, had 
been making inquiries about me. Before I could begin to 
wonder, an explanatory letter came from Havelock Ellis: 

30 October, 1933 
24, Holmdene Ave. 
Herne Hill 
London, S.E, 24 

Pleased to have your interesting letter and all the instruc- 
tive remarks about your work at the Hospital. 
But today there is specially one matter I want to bring 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

before you a point that came to me in the early morning in 
bed yesterday (my usual time for receiving divine inspira- 
tions!). There is a very large sum of money in the good 
hands of an American friend of mine (and Frangoise's) 
which is, in some as yet undetermined way, to be devoted to 
the scientific study of homosexuality, with the full study and 
following up of cases, etc. with the view of illuminating the 
subject and of promoting a rational and humane attitude to- 
wards it. (The holder of the money, I should add, is not 
personally a sexual invert. ) The idea in mind so far has been 
of a legacy to found a chair at some university or medical 
school. I am more in favour of selecting a suitable person 
for the post and enabling him to go ahead as soon as possible 

(as my friend Mrs. D of Chicago has done with such fine 

results), and my recommendations are likely to be influential 
in making a decision. It seems to me that you would be pe- 
culiarly suitable for this work, and while it would take up a 
large part of your time, perhaps for life, you would be able 
to make conditions leaving you free for other neurological etc. 
work. If I hear that you are willing to consider the matter, I 
will give you more precise details. So far as I can see, there 
would be nothing of an undesirable character about the 
scheme. . . . 
With affectionate greetings in which Frangoise joins, 


The offer was not only a welcome professional opportunity 
but brought heartening evidence of confidence from this dis- 
tinguished source, and I answered at once. At the same time 
I had no wish at that point to become a sexologist. It seemed 
to me that there was no longer any need for a revival of the 
brave pioneering efforts of Ellis of a half century ago. Sex 


seemed to have found its appropriate acceptance in the world 
of scientific interest and was indeed beginning to be over- 
emphasized in some quarters. I also had some doubts and 
misgivings about a project that might be intended to involve 
special pleading on behalf of homosexuals. I therefore replied 
that since I stood at the beginning of my psychiatric training,. 
I would be glad to accept a fellowship of the sort described 
if it allowed me to pursue my general psychiatric training, 
with a view to later turning my interest to special studies in 
the field of sex. 

Ellis replied as follows: 

1 6 January, 1934 
24 Holmdene Avenue 
S.E. 24 

Pleased to have your letter and our thanks for your New 
Year's Card! 

All your plans and resolutions for the future seem excel- 
lent. Long ago I remember my early friend Percival Chubb 
(now living somewhere in New York, I think) saying that 
nowadays we must know a little of everything and everything 
of something. It has always seemed to me sound doctrine, 
though since then every "something" has become so complex 
that it is difficult to know everything of it. 

I am writing at once to say though now you may know 
all about it that the scheme I wrote to you about is develop- 
ing. Adolf Meyer of Johns Hopkins, whose advice was asked, 
has been to Bellevue to make inquiries about you. I have just 
seen a letter from him in which he says that he hears there 
from two informants that you are "very unusually talented/' 
and he adds "evidently an interesting person," So it is all 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

right so far, and any farther step rests with you. I believe 
you are to hear more this week. . . . 

No more now. Franyoise joins in affectionate greetings. 


About the same time the following letter came from Dr. 


Baltimore, Md. 
January 19, 1934 
Dr. Joseph Wortis 
Bellevue Hospital 
New York City 

I have been asked to talk with you about the possibility of 
your undertaking a study of human sex-problems, particularly 
with regard to homosexuality, a matter concerning which you 
probably have heard from Havelock Ellis. The donor feels 
ready to begin with an annual stipend, under the direction of 
the Sex Research Committee of the National Research Coun- 
cil. In order to protect the enterprise against undesirable pub- 
licity the incumbent would be expected to be attached to a 
dependable hospital or organization in contact with investiga- 
tors in friendly fields. The question arises whether you would 
be interested in such a field and whether you would care to 
discuss the problem and proposition with me. If your reaction 
is one of interest in the proposition I should be glad to hear 
what you think of the possibilities and to make contact with 
you here or in New York. It might be wise to treat the mat- 



ter confidentially so as to avoid undesirable curiosity. I should 
like to have you spend a day with us at the Phipps Clinic 
(forenoon of some Monday or Wednesday if practicable) if it 
seems desirable. May I hear from you? 

Most sincerely yours, 


Soon afterwards the matter was settled, and I made the fol- 
lowing practical proposals to Dr. Meyer: 

March 14, 1934 

I have been thinking of plans for the preparation and con- 
tinuation of the work I have been asked to do, and feel that 
the main thing just now is to acquaint myself a little better 
with the literature, and look around and find out what is be- 
ing done. For the actual technical preparations, there are var- 
ious possibilities. . . . 

Mr. B and I talked the matter over and agreed that I 

would start as soon as possible, and to that end I shall leave 
in a month or two for London, where I would have the ad- 
vantage of close association with Ellis, whose knowledge of 
the literature is certainly extensive. After a few months I 
could then either return to America or stay in Europe for a 
while, if it seems advisable, for more clinical or laboratory ex- 
perience. Though I am myself sceptical of the dogmas and 
claims of the psychoanalysts, don't you think it would be 
worth-while to learn something of the subject at first hand? It 
may be that it could be arranged. I think that it is of first 
importance too to acquire the techniques I may need later, 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

since the book-learning and clinical experience will come eas- 
ier then. I mean some training in physiology, in biochemical 
endocrinology and in histo-pathology, as well as in psycho- 
analysis (or something similar). . . . 

Sincerely yours, 

Armed with a letter of introduction from Dr. Meyer, my 
wife and I went on to London where for a period of months I 
joined in rounds and visited the clinics of Wilson, Collier and 
Holmes at the Neurological Hospital on Queens Square, and 
attended clinics at the Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital where 
Drs. Mapother and Lewis were then active. In addition I be- 
gan to undertake special reading at the British Museum, 
where I would meet briefly with Ellis from time to time, and 
I called upon various scientists in London for discussions and 
suggestions on my projected work. At one such meeting at 
London University J. B. S. Haldane told me: 'The essence of 
the sex problem is very simple: too many people think sex be- 
havior is merely the expression of an unconditioned instinct, 
when it is really the product of conditioning/ 7 Later on I had 
frequent occasion to remember the basic significance of his 

At the end of the summer we moved on to Vienna, where I 
at once wrote to Freud. It was not my first attempt to meet 
with him. Two years before, after a prolonged residence in 
Vienna, I had written a note to him, telling him how much 
helpful stimulus I had from his books and how much I would 
have liked to meet him before I left, but added that I did 
not think it right for a student to presume upon the time of 
so busy a man. He had answered (in German) : 




May 21, 1932 

Thanks you for the friendly note, and for your willingness 
to forego a visit. 


But this time, under different circumstances, his response 
was different. 


MY FIRST MEETING with Freud was early in September, 1934, 
about a week after my arrival in Vienna. I had written to 
him, told him of my work and references, and had asked for 
a meeting. There was a telephone message soon after, asking 
me to come at five o'clock on a Monday, I believe. I con- 
firmed this by phone, and arrived duly just before five at his 
suburban flat in Grinzing (47 Strassergasse) not far from 
where I used to live in Himmelstrasse. Freud occupied the 
lower floor of an undistinguished little apartment house, set 
back from the road behind an iron fence, with a rather large 
garden in the rear. A white-haired lady was seated at a table 
beneath a tree, engaged in knitting perhaps the Frau Profes- 
sor, I reflected. Inside, the servant girl told me I was just a 
few minutes too early. The Herr Professor is always sehr 
punktlich very punctual in everything he dos, she con- 
fided to me. Would I care to sit in the garden a while? I 
walked about a bit and returned again and waited. 

At five o'clock a youngish lady with a slight squint, appar- 
ently an American, came from the professor's study, put on 
her hat, and left. I entered the room, the professor slipped in 
from the veranda, offered me his hand, and asked me to sit 
down. He was short of stature, slight of build, and looked in- 



tensely pale and serious. His manner was direct and to the 
point, and he wasted no time on ceremony. It fell upon me to 
explain my presence. I told him that I was the recipient of a 
fellowship which was at first intended for work in the field of 
sex psychology, that the donors of the fellowship were espe- 
cially interested in the problem of homosexuality, but that I 
had insisted that I first prepare myself in the general field of 
psychiatry before turning to special studies. I was therefore a 
student and a beginner in the field of psychiatry. Since this 
work led to an interest in psychoanalysis and in him, I would 
be grateful for any help he could give me. "Sie wollen also 
Psychoanalyse lernen" he concluded, with more precision 
than I had ventured to use. The only way to learn analysis, 
he went on, is to be psychoanalyzed oneself. The question, in 
effect, is: where could I be analyzed? That would depend on 
my means: there are all grades of analysts at different prices. 
There were no free scholarships for Americans. I told him 
what my means were and he made a simple calculation: the 
cheapest analysis would cost so much. He could, if I wished, 
consult with his daughter and send me some names. He would 
of course be interested in teaching me himself since I was 
preparing to be a research worker, but he suspected that his 
fees would be too high. If my supporters would agree to pay 
his fees, it could be arranged. He would wait to hear from 

During the short interview, Freud sat opposite me with a lit- 
tle table between us, facing me directly. Sometimes he bent 
sideways and leaned on his desk, looking keen and mousy. His 
speech was low and muffled and the metal appliance in his 
mouth (which he had worn since his operation) seemed to 
cause him much annoyance. His German was precise and de- 
liberate, and he spoke his syllables and words with emphasis. 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

He made no bones about asking me a number of questions 
about myself: my age, my experience, was I neurotic, was I 
sexually abnormal, was my wife with me now? If I was no 
schwerer Neurotiker no severe neurotic an analysis would 
not be a matter of more than a year, but then "wrden Sie 
naturlich sehr viel lernen" I would naturally learn a lot. Our 
meeting was concluded when our business ended, all in a mat- 
ter of fifteen minutes or so. I rose and shook hands again, 
added a few remarks about Ellis, said there was some news 
this summer that Freud was in poor health and Ellis was con- 
cerned. "All such reports are false/' he said. He accompanied 
me to the door and I left. 

Ellis had already offered to write to Freud, but Freud had 
evidently not yet heard from him. 

September 7, 1934 
Wivelsfield Green 
Haywards Heath, Sussex 

I hope you are safely arrived and pleasantly situated in Vi- 
enna. . . . How about Freud? If you hear that he is at home 
and in tolerable health (the last report I heard was unfavor- 
able) I could, if you like, write to him, and back up your re- 
quest for a meeting. . . . 

Yours ever, 

Ellis in previous correspondence and in conversation with 
me had repeatedly indicated that he had grown sceptical of 



psychoanalysis; he hoped I would not accept its theories and 
saw no need for me to undertake a didactic analysis. Soon 
after my fellowship had started he wrote to me (in March 
1934), "I agree that endocrinology and mental analysis are 
the foundations of this and all similar work (I would not my- 
self say Freudian analysis; it is surely better, like Freud him- 
self, to develop a technique of your own) . . . ." 

At about this time another letter came from Ellis urging me 
to drop the idea of a personal didactic analysis: 

September 14, 1934 

Thank you for your most interesting letter. 

About Freud, I am glad to have your detailed account I 
had not yet written to him because (as I wrote you) I was 
waiting to hear some report from you about his present 
health, etc. I shall write to him now. About being psychoana- 
lysed, my own feeling most decidedly is that it would be bet- 
ter to follow his example than his precept. He did not begin 
by being psychoanalysed (never was!) or attaching himself 
to any sect or school, but went about freely, studying the 
work of others, and retaining always his own independence. 
If he had himself followed the advice he gives you, he would 
have attached himself to Charcot with whom he was working, 
and become his disciple, like Gilles de la Tourette, an able 
man and now forgotten. If you are psychoanalysed you either 
become a Freudian or you don't. If you don't, you remain 
pretty much where you are now; if you do you are done 
for! unless -you break away, like Jung or Adler or Rank 
(and he has done it too late). To every great leader one may 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

apply the saying of Nietzsche about Jesus: There has been, 
only one Christian and he died on the cross. There has been 

only one Freudian! Mr. B would like you to be associated 

with Freud, I know, but that could anyhow be settled. 

Good to hear you are already working along useful 
lines. . . . 

Sad about Vienna. I cherish my ancient memories. 

Frangoise joins in affectionate greetings, 


I shared some of Ellis's scepticism, but had a warmer feel- 
ing towards analysis, had read Freud with fascination and 
was very eager to meet and work with him. Having the 
chance at last offered to me I did not want to give it up. I at 
once wrote to Adolf Meyer and to the sponsors of my fellow- 
ship, reporting on my meeting with Freud and indicating that 
I would like to follow his suggestion and undertake a didactic 
analysis under him; I wrote similarly to Ellis. Soon after- 
wards Ellis answered, letting me know he had been in touch 
with Freud and enclosing a typewritten transcript, in Ger- 
man, of Freud's reply to him: 

October 4, 1934 
24 Holmdene Avenue 
London S.E. 24 
I have your interesting letter and I gather there is to be 

analysis under Freud for as long as what money sets 

apart for this purpose allows. wrote to me on this point, 

and I replied (last week) that (as I had already said to you) 



I did not myself consider analysis necessary for your work. 
But association with Freud for a time will no doubt be val- 
uable. I quite agree that with one of his pupils it would not 
be worth-while. But there is no question that Freud is a mas- 
ter. I have lately had a letter from him in reply to mine; his 
ancient script never was very clear to me 7 so I asked a Ger- 
man girl to copy it. I enclose her version in case you care to 
see it. Please return it, and no need to mention to Freud that 
I sent it, though you would perhaps thank him on my behalf 
for his letter and convey my best greetings. I also have al- 
ways understood that Freud analysed himself (a simple and 
economical method!) chiefly by investigating his dreams. . . . 

Yours ever, 

The enclosed letter from Freud to Ellis follows in translation: 

(end of September, 1934) 

I was very glad to see your handwriting again and hope 
you are well. I would wish, better than I. 

Dr. Wortis visited me. The knowledge of psychoanalysis 
which he desires can be acquired in one way, namely by sub- 
mitting oneself to an analysis. He was willing to do this and 
regarded it as important to undertake it, under me. To me a 
talented pupil is naturally preferable to a patient. I would be 
glad to take him on, provided a certain condition is met, and 
provided I remain well enough to work. The condition con- 
cerns the honorarium. I am unfortunately not so successful 
that I can disregard the matter of making a living, but must 

Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

sell my few hours of work dearly. If he reports that he can- 
not come to me I will recommend him to some outstanding 
pupil of mine. Preferably to my own daughter whom I, and 
not only I, value as a representative of psychoanalysis. I saw 
your picture recently in the first issue of an Indian journal 
(Marriage Hygiene]. 

With cordial regards 


Adolf Meyer supported my wish to undergo analysis with 
Freud and wrote to me later: 

October 25, 1934 
The Johns Hopkins Hospital 
Baltimore, Maryland 

. . . The main item of your letter is of course your active 
contact with Freud. You made the right choice, and I made 

that clear to encouraging them to give you the necessary 

support as far as they could go. ... 

Freud interested me from his debut in the literature and 
while I felt from the beginning of my medical work keen on 
the inclusion of all of human nature in the scientific reality 
and objective world even just as I found it, the systematic or- 
ganization he gave to it all was and is always stimulating and 
like a fabric of true art and life. I saw and heard him at Worces- 
ter in 1909 and called on him in 1923 and regret that the 
personal contacts could not have been more frequent and 
closer. I hope you will be a live link to whom I may turn when 



you get back to these shores. To cover such a life-work with 
the author while you allow yourself to vibrate true to yourself 
and to the atmosphere must be a great satisfaction. 

Sincerely yours, 

Freud's next note to me written in English reads: 

September 29, 

Will you call on me Monday October first half past three 
exactly? I will have half an hour to discuss your situation 
with you. 

Sincerely yours, 


This time I kept Freud waiting, for I came a minute late, 
and noticed him standing at the window looking out to the 

Fragments of an Analysis "With Freud 

gate when I passed through. The American woman with the 
squint was again in the hall when I came in, and she gave 
me a friendly smile as I passed by. 

Freud waved me to a chair, and I again talked first. I 
showed him the cablegram I had received offering $1600 for 
a period of analysis, and Freud did some simple reckoning 
out loud: the money would keep me in analysis under him 
for four months. He considered it would be worth while. 
Since I was not a neurotic, but a student, it was no great 
matter whether the analysis was complete or not. I could at 
least learn a great deal; "und dann werden Sie Lust bekom- 
men es fortzusetzen" he added I would then want to con- 
tinue. He said he could not agree to use this limited sum of 
money to give me mere informal theoretical instruction, such 
as Ellis suggested and I desired. An alternative was to 
be analyzed by, say, his daughter, "die eine sehr gate 
Andytikerin ist" a very good analyst at much less cost, 
for a longer time. I replied it was simply a question of Freud 
or nothing for the present; so far as I was concerned I was 
ready to start, on the understanding that these four months 
would be reasonably adequate. Freud thought this possible, 
but it would depend on my Aufnahmefahigkeit or receptive 
capacity, and my Vorrat or supply of neurotic material, which 
after all every civilized person has "schliesslich jeder Kultur- 
mensch hat" I accepted the proposal. 

"I ought perhaps to say at the outset," I told Freud, "that 
I am acting against Ellis's advice/' And I read the passage 
from Ellis's letter, telling me to follow Freud's example rather 
than his precept, and go my own independent way. Freud 
listened with interest and said, "Ellis, in a fundamental 
sense, has rejected psychoanalysis/' I was inclined to deny 
this, and said he seemed quite sympathetic in many ways, 



especially toward Freud personally. "I know/' said Freud. "El- 
lis is one of the friendliest persons I know. A man can only 
accept so and so much of psychoanalysis/' he added. "Pfister, 
author of Love-life of Children, for example, could only go 
to a certain limit because after all he was a minister." 

I rather resented the implication that psychoanalysis stood 
clear and perfect, like divine revelation, and only those could 
share its secrets who enjoyed grace. "It may very well be that 
at the end I will reject analysis too/' I said, "and I may as 
well say at the outset that the implication that something is 
wrong with me for that reason is not very agreeable/ 7 

"But it isn't likely that you can form an independent judg- 
ment yet/' Freud replied. "You are so young." 

"Still/' I said, "we all have different experiences, and I 
may some time see something that you have overlooked." 

He admitted this hypothetical possibility and we discussed 
the point for a while. I meant to indicate how unfair the 
attitude of psychoanalysis to its critics can be. Freud had 
once written in some essay that those who haven't been an- 
alyzed have no right to criticize, and those who are an- 
alyzed and then criticize do so because some special sensi- 
bilities were stirred. 

"I shouldn't like that to be said of me/' I said. 

"It could be," said Freud, and he then added, whether in 
regard to himself or me, I don't know, "It is perfectly natural 
for a person to defend his own opinions." 

It was true that he was never analyzed himself: there was 
nobody there to analyze him. "But I discovered analysis," 
he said "That is enough to excuse me. (Ich habe dock die 
Psychoanalyse entdeckt. Das kann man mir doch verzeihen.)" 
For the rest, he could interpret his own dreams and recol- 
lections. I need have no fear, he went on, that I would lose 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

my independence; and that, he added, is a lesson: when I 
come to analyze others I will discover that my patients will 
have exactly the same feeling. "Wir werden sehn. We shall 
see/' he repeated. In a week or ten days we would start. 

"I prefer a student ten times more than a neurotic/' he 
concluded with a disparaging gesture and a laugh. He rose 
and gave me his hand, held stiffly, and bent in strangely at 
the wrist; whether this was a surgical contracture or a man- 
nerism, I did not know. I left. 



FREUD wrote me to come at 6 P.M on October 9, 1934 and 
to confirm the appointment by telephone. I did, but sent a 
note saying the actual confirmation of the arrangements 
would have to come from the sponsors of the fellowship, 
who were to supply the money, though their cablegram indi- 
cated there ought to be no trouble on that score. If, for any 
unseen reason, they changed their minds, Freud would be 
paid for his services to date. When I arrived, Freud had me 
sit down and made it clear that he was displeased with this 
uncertainty: I either agree or disagree to start, and he was 
unwilling to start before the financial matter was settled. I 
said that was only a matter of a few days, until my last week's 
letter arrived in the U.S.A., and nothing would be gained by 
sending an additional short cablegram, which would not ex- 
plain the situation. I did not feel it was worth this long dis- 
cussion; I had no secret plans, and felt there would be no 
difficulty at all. 

"But," said Freud with a characteristic turn of phrase, "the 
fact remains that you wrote this letter. You didn't want to 
take the responsibility on yourself, you wanted to share it 
with me." He finally consented to start anyway, and I was 

Fragments of an Analysis "with Freud 

to settle this other business as soon as possible by cabling 
for a definite commitment. 

Freud then made this preliminary statement: an analysis 
requires an hour a day, five days a week, and starts with a 
fourteen day trial period, during which both doctor and pa- 
tient decide whether they care to go on. Thereafter the as- 
sumption is that the analysis will continue, though there is 
nothing really binding. 

I was directed to a couch. Freud sat behind me and com- 
menced a little lecture on the ensuing procedure, talking in 
true lecture style, deliberately and lucidly, while I followed 
with a periodic "Ja~Ja." Our conversation was in German 
from the outset and remained so to the end. 

Freud spoke of the importance of the couch arrangement 
to assure relaxation and freedom from restraint in the pa- 
tient. "Besides," he added, "I don't like to have people stare 
me in the face." He then went on to speak of the funda- 
mental condition for an analysis: absolute honesty I was to 
tell literally everything that went through my head: whether 
important, unimportant, painful, irrelevant, absurd, or insult- 
ing. He for his part would guarantee absolute privacy, regard- 
less of what I revealed: murder, theft, treachery or the like. 
The analyst however is permitted to use the material he thus 
gathers for scientific ends jiir die Analyse, but must in such 
cases conceal or disguise anything that would reveal the iden- 
tity of the patient. It is assumed that the analyst will answer 
to his own conscience about the uses to which he puts his 
knowledge. "And," he added, "it is an assumption that every 
man is honest, until proven otherwise." He then asked me 
what I knew of analysis, and I told him of my knowledge, 
which was not very full, something of my general education, 
and incidentally some details of my history. He found it most 



convenient, then, he said, to assume I knew nothing, though 
I was not to take offense, since it was a mere matter of con- 
venience. I remember saying I was first attracted to Freud 
through Max Eastman's book, The Sense of Humor. "A bad 
book!' 7 said Freud. "And now/' he went on, "you can start 
and say what you like/' 

I started with the least pleasant of my thoughts. I said the 
nearest I came to ever having a neurosis was last year when 
I began to work in a psychiatric hospital, but that I since got 
over it. 

"Without help?" said Freud skeptically. "Only my own 
help apparently/' I said. "At least, I felt distressed then but 
felt perfectly all right lately." After studying abroad so many 
years, I felt lost in the big new hospital, was out of touch 
with things and out of contact with all my old and dearest 
friends. I found it difficult to slip into the unaccustomed 
routines of hospital duties, future prospects did not appear 
bright, and I tended to be discouraged. I found it hard to 
apply myself to study and began to deprecate my intellectual 
prowess. All my little failures, real or imaginary, became 
associated with this sort of harsh self-criticism. Minor physi- 
cal complaints seemed too important to me and I exaggerated 
their significance. However, I said, I knew enough of psy- 
choanalysis to realize it was silly and useless to submerge such 
thoughts, and I made no bones about talking freely of them 
when there was occasion, most of all to my wife. Fortu- 
nately, at this very same time I got the offer of this new work 
which gave me a wonderful amount of independence, splen- 
did opportunities, and a change of scene. I soon felt very 
well again and was not troubled by those thoughts. I wanted 
to go on to say that my interest in hypochondriasis took a 
scientific turn and seemed to dissolve as I convinced myself 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

that its basis lay in a certain depressive emotional tone, as- 
sociated with certain bodily sensations, brought on by my 
situation, experiences, and accompanying tensions at the 
time. But I was pulled short in the middle, at the end of 
the hour, to continue next day. 

Freud said at the outset that psychoanalysis demands a 
degree o honesty which is unusual, and even impossible in 
der biirgerlichen Gesellschaft (in bourgeois society); but I on 
the contrary had never thought that I had to practice any 
great degree of concealment or dishonesty in the society in 
which I moved, least of all with my good friends. It brought 
to mind the question of whether Freud's theories of repres- 
sion were not limited in their application to the kind of so- 
ciety in which he still seemed to live. I became curious to 
know whether the kind of life I had lived was not unusual 
among his analytic subjects. It seemed at any rate fairly typi- 
cal for my own social group and generation. 

For the rest, my first hour proved disturbing for two main 
reasons: first, because it threatened to revive unpleasant in- 
trospective thoughts which led me nowhere and hampered 
my free activity and indeed, it was not easy to concentrate 
on microscopic neurological work and other studies when all 
my most delicate feelings were being stirred; and second, be- 
cause there was the unpleasant prospect of developing what 
Freud called Widerstand, or resistance, against him, my pres- 
ent lord and master; who sat in quiet judgment while I 
talked, like a stern Old Testament Jehovah, and who seemed 
to take no special pains to act with hospitality or reassurance, 
but had instead needlessly disturbed our friendly association 
by what seemed to me to be an over-emphasis on money 



October 10, 1934 

I cabled last night to please Freud, though it was super- 
fluous, at a cost of thirty cents a word almost as dear as an 
analysis. Freud gave me his hand as usual when I came. I 
told him I had duly telegraphed, as he desired, and that my 
Widerstand, or resistance, was now increased to the extent 
of seventeen Austrian schillings, twenty-nine groschen. He 
smiled and said he could readily understand. Did I bring the 
original telegram? I had not. Would I expect an answer by 
tomorrow? . , . The analysis was resumed. 

I lay on the couch, Freud behind me, his dog sitting 
quietly on his haunches at the foot of the bed ... a large 
dog ... a big chow I thought it was. ... I didn't notice 
exactly. Freud began by saying that I was about to speak of 
my relations to Ellis, which were important This was not 
literally true we broke off on another subject, but I told in 
some detail how I grew interested in Ellis, what I thought of 
him, and how encouraging and helpful he had been. I then 
went on to give some history of my earlier relationship to 
my wife, and sohie more about myself. Freud seemed inter- 
ested in Ellis, asked occasional questions about him: was he 
a doctor? when did I first actually meet him?, etc. When I 
spoke of my adolescent friendship with my wife, described 
my uncertainty about leaving her when I first came to study 
in Europe, and the resulting confusion, Freud commented, 
"In jeder Beziehung liegt eine Abhdngigkeit, selbst mil 
einem Hund. (There is an element of dependence in every 
relationship, even with a dog.)" 

Speaking of Ellis's manner and his friendliness in discus- 
sion, I said he never went to great lengths to defend his own 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"Er ist nicht rechthaberisch (he is not self-righteous)/' said 

I said Ellis was inclined to think that both sides in a con- 
troversy were usually right, in part. 

"In a controversy/' said Freud, "I would say that both 
sides are usually wrong." 

But I did more of the talking this time on a theme that 
interested me and was not unpleasant. Freud said little. He 
seemed to be a bit hard of hearing, but did not admit it. On 
the contrary he continually criticized me for not talking 
clearly and loudly enough, 

"You're always mumbling/' he said with some petulance, 
and he gave a mumbling imitation, "like the Americans do, 
I believe it is an expression of the general American laxity in 
social intercourse, and it is sometimes used as Wider stand! 9 

I said I didn't think that applied to my case; it wasn't 
easy to change years of habit on notice, but I would do my 

I said to Freud that it was impossible, I thought, to let 
my thoughts flow freely, since I was undoubtedly influenced 
by Freud's presence, and what he brought to mind: sex and 
neuroses. He made no comment but said I was just to go on. 
It seemed obvious to me that one's thoughts were bound to 
be different in different situations, and that the mere presence 
of a psychoanalyst tended to elicit certain thoughts or memo- 

I remarked how glad I was to see my first Leonardo in 
the National Gallery at London. 

"A Leonardo in the National Gallery?" asked Freud scep- 

"Yes/' I said: " The Virgin of the Rocks/ It may only be 
a copy of the one in the Louvre ... or the Louvre may 



have the copy. ... It is hard to say and experts disagree." 

I mentioned a note Ellis wrote, in which he spoke of his 
liking for the composer Dukas. 

"Who?" asked Freud. 

"Dukas," I repeated, and told Freud something about him. 

"I don't know/ 7 said Freud, "Ich bin kdn grosser Kenner 
der Musik. (Fm no great connoisseur of music.)" 

I stopped at 7 P.M. and rose to leave, saying, "Goodbye, 
Herr Professor," but Freud did not respond, perhaps, I 
thought again, because he was a little hard of hearing. 

October 11, 1934 

Today's hour was uneventful and rather informal, with per- 
haps a friendlier atmosphere. I made some comment on one 
or two books that were on the table; Freud directed me to 
the couch, and asked me to go on. There was a little con- 
fusion at first, because I didn't quite know what to say. 

"Say what you're thinking of," said Freud. 

"I'm thinking of what to say," said I. 

Since this didn't seem likely to get us anywhere, I 
launched into what turned out to be a lecture on the funda- 
mentals of psychology, a subject which interested me greatly, 
on which I spoke with vehemence, gesticulating and swing- 
ing my arms, and talking in a loud deliberate voice to please 
Freud. Ffeud listened with apparent interest, and made oc- 
casional remarks. When I attempted to define a neurosis as a 
maladaptation between an individual and his environment, 
and said one could prevent neuroses by changing the environ- 
ment, Freud did not disagree but said that was not a doc- 
tor's task. 

"For me at least," I said, "I see nothing to hinder me 
from engaging in work of that kind too." I also said that 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

physical health was an important factor to consider, and that 
a person in sound health in a friendly environment was not 
likely to develop a neurosis. A lively pace of productive ac- 
tivity seemed important too: a person on a bicycle proceeding 
with energy at high speed is not likely to be upset by a 
stone, but if he travels slowly, a gust of wind will upset him. 
Individual intrapsychic factors, I felt, were often exaggerated. 

"It is not so simple/' said Freud. 

For the rest, I proceeded to give an account of my vicis- 
situdes in love and life. Freud made friendly and sympathetic 
remarks here and there, seemed to think I was well-trained in 
honesty, and said it was "eine gate Vorbereitung fur die Ana- 
lyse (a good preparation for analysis)." I said I was not 
overmuch interested in myself, and felt better when I simply 
went about my work. 

"That is of interest, too," said Freud. "You have made 
everything you said up to now so clear it has not interested 
me either." 

I did not quite understand what he meant, but went on to 
the end of the hour, then shook hands twice and left 

October 12, 1934 

An uneventful hour. Freud began by saying I ought to bring 
up more of iny problems. I said I had no very serious per- 
sonal ones. The discouragement and moodiness that I felt 
last year had slowly disappeared: psychoanalysis had evoked 
the memory and perhaps it was worth emphasis. Those feel- 
ings no longer bothered me, but I would recall them as a sort 
of symbol of that period, or as something in the background 
of my thoughts. 

I mentioned that I had once spent a summer working for 



a schizophrenic relative who was developing delusional ideas 
that the family was beginning to worry about. 

"How old were you then?" Freud asked. 

"Sixteen/' I said. "It didn't affect me much at the time, 
but later on when I was told of the importance of heredity, 
it did concern me for a little while." 

"But the heredity is recessive," said Freud. 

I said I also exploited this interest for scientific ends, stud- 
ied the subject, and came to independent conclusions. I did 
not even believe it was recessive in heredity, and the statis* 
tical studies were unconvincing since I could not see how a 
diagnosis could be made fifty years or two generations back, 
before the term "schizophrenic" was even known. Anyway, 
I said, I proposed to talk this hour of all the various painful 
thoughts I had ever had which I did: various conscience- 
pangs, self-reproaches and anxieties, though none of them 
seemed any longer of any real consequence. I didn't know 
whether Freud grew more interested. I tried hard to think of 
real problems I had had. 

October 15, 1934 

This was another uneventful hour. Freud moved into his 
city home (IX Berggasse 19) over the weekend, and I went 
there for the first time today: a simple Viennese residence 
on the first floor of an ordinary house, in an ordinary part of 
Vienna. There was a butcher-shop downstairs. The entrance 
was dilapidated, like most entrances in Vienna during that 
period. Upstairs there was a glass plate on the door with 
"Prof. Dr. Freud 3-4" on it. ... I was admitted to a cozy, 
simple but somewhat cluttered waiting room whose walls 
were covered with pictures, diplomas, and honorary degrees 
from many lands. Among the pictures was an excellent one 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

of Havelock Ellis in his prime, sitting back at his desk, with 
folded arms and clear eyes. There was an inscription on it: 
"With sincere regards and admiration/' Among the books 
was the Goldberg biography of Ellis, likewise inscribed from 
Ellis to "Professor Freud." Among the pictures were several 
group photos taken at Clark University in 1909 with Stan- 
ley Hall, Freud, and Jung in the foreground. There was an 
assortment of other miscellaneous books in all languages (in- 
cluding Chinese) and on all subjects, many of them 
inscribed in flattering terms to Freud: Woodworth's book 
Contemporary Schools of Psychology, H.D/s poems, Calver- 
ton's book on sex, Malinowski in German, Das Geschlechts- 
leben in Japan, Mein Weltbild by Einstein, The Old School 
collection of essays, as well as the hand-press Joseph Ishill 
volume on Ellis with a simple inscription from the printer. 
None of the books looked as if they were much read. 

Freud was again mild, earnest and friendly when I came 
in. "These are our new quarters/' he said. 

I made some remark about the Ellis picture, but he did 
not respond, and I went on with my account of myself. I 
had been walking in the country the day before, and was in 
good shape and spirits. I continued with the history of my 
vicissitudes in love and life, making the last years short, for 
the amount of personal history one could tell seemed endless, 
and I wanted to get on. I succeeded in concluding the brief 
account of my life from adolescence on, and planned to con- 
tinue with an account of my childhood. I made some refer- 
ence to his earlier remark that my account was uninterest- 
ing. Freud explained that he had not meant he was 
uninterested, but that he thought I was, because I kept speak- 
ing of clear, superficial things. I explained that it was not 
exactly uninteresting to me, but that generally I found that 



1 was not very contented when I was overconcerned with 
myself and that I might also have a certain amount of ap- 
prehension about the course the analysis would take and what 
unpleasantness it would reveal. 

"But today/' I said, "I feel more sure and confident of 
myself and await results with more equanimity." 

Freud seemed attentive, but, as usual, said next to noth- 
ing, beyond making occasional brief comments: 'Tor so 
long?/' "With her?/' etc., or laughing quietly when I said 
something funny. Once he asked, "What did you live on all 
this time?" 

I again spoke a little of Ellis and mentioned casually that 
he had suggested in a letter I just received that I might find 
it useful to look up Wilhelm Stekel too while I was in Vi- 
enna. The hour passed quickly, as usual, and I was stopped 
at the end. 

October 16, 1934 

My good spirits continued. There was considerable con- 
versation between us today and we got into sharp discussion. 
It began by my mentioning that I had been reading from the 
Schizophrenia volume in the Bumke Handbuch der Psychia- 
tric, and felt satisfaction in seeing that my own conclusions 
about schizophrenia coincided with the author's: it was not 
a disease entity, but a symptom complex of a group of dis- 
eases with some common features. 

Freud remonstrated: the cause of schizophrenia was still 
unknown; it was not a symptom, it was a syndrome, like 
hysteria. In short, it seemed, as I later recalled what was said, 
that Freud was irritated that I should air independent views 
somewhat at variance with his own, and that I should more- 
over explain away my own problems to my own satisfaction. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

He addressed me: "I have noticed, during your recitation up 
to now, a special characteristic: a tendency to leave the solid 
ground of facts, and to talk in a general way of things that 
are not intelligible to me. You talk away, for example, of 
your feelings and experiences without so much as telling me 
where and when they all occurred. Furthermore, I have been 
able to observe in you a tendency to lose yourself in abstrac- 
tions and to talk of things of which you have no knowl- 
edge, in a way which reminds me of someone whom I know, 
Havelock Ellis. He speaks freely of things about which he has 
no knowledge at all without so much as concerning himself 
with the literature. How a man with any knowledge of 
things could ever have recommended you to Stekel" Freud 
was referring to the fact that yesterday's letter from Ellis had 
done this "is beyond my comprehension." 

He then said some very harsh things of Stekel: a man of 
no scruples, with no regard for others, of the meanest ambi- 
tions, with petty ideas of grandeur ("mit erbsengrossem 
Grossenwahn" if I remember him correctly; I am at least 
sure he used the word erbsengross, which means "the size of 
a pea") . . . whose behavior was such "that it was impossi- 
ble to have any further relations with him." 

Freud seemed piqued, and piqued with a matter which ap- 
parently had no close relation to my analysis. It seemed so 
irrelevant that I was only slightly disconcerted but at once 
said a few things in self-defense and explanation: that I was 
sorry if I said or supposed anything that was untrue, but since 
I was asked at the outset to tell of everything that went 
through my head, it is not surprising if a lot of nonsense 
came out. Regarding schizophrenia, my main point was that 
I was originally told that schizophrenia was nothing but an 
extreme form of schizoid personality, and hence not sharply 



differentiated from the normal. Since I had come to the 
independent conclusion that this view was incorrect, I came 
to look upon schizophrenia as a disease like pneumonia or 
diabetes which might strike one or not, but did not necessar- 
ily have any close relation to people's daily troubles. For the 
rest, I had no ambition to erect eternal scientific truths, but 
recognized that everything changes, and my views would 
change in time too. 

Freud was sympathetic to all this, agreed with me, urged 
me to continue to speak out my own thoughts freely, and I 
went on, first finishing the main points of my Lebenslauf 
from puberty to now, by mentioning some more or less casual 
boy-girl affairs I had. "You might otherwise have the impres- 
sion/' I said, "that I had very few such relations/ 7 

"Do you consider it important, then, to have many such 
affairs?" he asked. 

"By no means/' I said. "It was simply because I could find 
no satisfactory mate all this time/' 

"Exactly," he said. 

I then described my early home life and boyhood. "It was 
on the whole a very happy one/' I said, "and I think, all 
things considered, I had a very fortunate and sensible up- 

"I am very glad to hear that," said Freud, "for it is cer- 
tainly unusual/' 

I then briefly described my early life at home and at pub- 
lic school, up to the time I entered high school. It was a 
little past my hour when Freud said it would be a convenient 
place to stop. 

"I have listened," he said, when he gave me his hand. "Ich 
habe zugehort" 

3 1 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

October 17, 1934 

Yesterday's hour was pleasant and informal. Freud's dog, 
the handsome chow, was in the hall when I came in, and the 
maid told me it was the professor's great favorite. "The Herr 
Professor is very much attached to it," she said; "when the 
dog doesn't eat, the Herr Professor is unhappy." The dog and 
I were both admitted at the same time. 

I spoke a little of politics this time, for it occupied my 
mind, and Freud seemed interested, though noncommittal. 
Regarding Communism, I said, it sometimes seemed that if 
you were not for it, you were against it "Precisely/' he said. 

I then said that his criticism of me yesterday ought to dis- 
qualify me as a scientist, but I didn't take it too seriously. 

"I simply said you had a certain undesirable tendency 
(Neigung)," said Freud. 

"In any ease," I said, "since you said Ellis had the same 
defect, I feel I am at least in good company." 

"That's right Eben," said Freud. 

I resumed the account of my early childhood. Freud asked 
particularly precise questions about early sexual experiences. 
I led up to my first social experience with a girl, when at 
the age of fourteen I took her to the theater. 

"That," I said, "was my first . f ." 

"Abenteuer" suggested Freud, and the hour thus ended 
with my first adventure. 

October 18, 1934 

Today I finished the main points in my account of myself, 
and proceeded to tell of my dreams. That was what Freud 
was waiting for. 

"There are people who cannot be analyzed, often perfectly 
normal people," he said, "and I have been waiting up to now 



to see if you would tell me of your dreams, because that is 
how we shall now proceed with the analysis. That is how I 
analyzed myself, by studying my own dreams over a period 
of three years. The next few days will show whether enough 
material for an analysis will be forthcoming/' 

I told him that I dreamt I had embraced his servant girl 
and that he was scandalized. 

'That dream/' he said, "is not of much importance, but 
we shall see/' 

October 19, 1934 

I dreamt last night that I was asked to visit Ellis and Fran- 
goise (I interpreted this as a simple wish), and found myself 
on a curving road overlooking a valley en route to their 
home which I saw in the distance beyond some trees and 
bushes. The scene was a typical English countryside resem- 
bling a resort, Burling Gap, where I had spent some time. I 
was a little too early, since I was not to come before twelve, 
and rested by the roadside before moving on. (This corre- 
sponded to a previous actual experience.) I saw Frangoise and 
Havelock in the distance, and could tell from their movements 
that they had seen me. I heard Frangoise cry to her son 
Frangois, "What is Wortis's first name again?" and he told 
her "Joseph." I then arrived. There were numerous visitors 
about, including a plump French sister of Franjoise. Frangoise 
greeted me and seemed actually to want to kiss me, though I 
moved on. Havelock had a haircut. Before arriving, I had won- 
dered to myself whether he would have long straggling hair 
(like a certain eccentric who walks about in Vienna). I was 
cordially and quietly greeted by Havelock. It was growing 
foggy and dark. "It is nothing but the English mists," said 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"But upon the hill, before I came down, it was perfectly 
clear/' I said. 

"The fog settles in the valleys/' he said. 

I stood at the entrance porch of the house, and a whole 
file of foreign-looking men, kitchen help, walked past me 
through the door, while their wives entered the kitchen door 
down below. 

"How in the world will so many people get into this 
small house?" I thought "The house will burst/' This last 
thought was so disturbing that I awakened. I was eager to 
find out what Freud would make of it. 

At the analytic hour I told Freud of my dream, and also 
gave my interpretations: The commotion on my arrival in the 
dream corresponded to a previous real experience, and Fran- 
Qoise's concern about my name reflected a real situation too, 
because she used to make repeated friendly efforts to call me 
by my first name, only to lapse into the use of my second 
name again, for which she would apologize. The many visi- 
tors about reflected a wish of mine that Ellis, like Goethe, 
would move in society, and the presence of a plump French 
sister of Frangoise was an invention to create an atmosphere 
of domesticity. The business of Frangoise wanting to kiss me 
represented a notion that her interest in me had a sexual 
element. Havelock's haircut reflected a wish that he would 
be more conventional, and not eccentric. The discussion 
about the fogginess and darkness was partly a pedantic at- 
tempt at conversational realism, but also reflected, I thought, 
a rationalization of the physiological process which tends to 
make dreams so often seem dark. 

Freud now proceeded to give me my first real lesson in 
analysis. Some of the things were correctly interpreted, he 
said. Other things were hidden from me because of my pre- 


conceived scientific opinions or prejudices. The dream was 
an anxiety dream, and since the only abnormal thing that had 
come up was the hypochondriacal idea, it was concerned 
with that. My future instruction would have the purpose o 
removing my scientific prejudices. 

I had also had another short dream: that some small ani- 
mals approached my bed, and that a kitten licked and chewed 
at my little finger. I could not interpret this, but supposed 
that I had my finger caught somewhere in the bed or cover, 
and that this was a rationalization of the sensations I felt. 

Freud remonstrated: "I thought that theory was a chose 
jugee a settled matter.' 9 He used the French and English 
phrases. "It was all fully discussed in my book long ago. . . . 
Such things may provide the occasion for a dream but do not 
explain the content." Concerning other assumptions of mine 
that, for example, the associative processes in dreams are 
disturbed he said this did not accord with psychoanalytic 
views. Regarding the matter of the darkness in the first 
dream, he considered that an ominous foreboding of the end 
the dream would take. 

When Freud said part of my dream material could not be 
interpreted because my scientific beliefs acted as Widerstand, 
I asked whether it is always possible to interpret dreams 
where there is no Widerstand. 

"For the wealth of possible associations is so great," I 
said, "that there may well be technical difficulties in inter- 
preting a dream." 

"There is no such thing," said Freud. He seemed to have 
great faith in free association. 

I then began to ask questions. The first question was 
whether the analyst undertakes to be honest too, as his pa- 
tient does. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"He does not," said Freud, mistakenly thinking I was refer- 
ring to the case histories in his own writing; "the analyst 
practices discretion in his reports or studies/' 

"But does he practice honesty with the patient?/' I asked. 

Freud replied, I believe, that the analyst uses tact "He 
does not lie," said Freud, "for then the patient, and other 
patients, would lose faith in him and mistrust him. That is 
why children mistrust their parents, because of the sex lies 
that were told them/' 

Suppose, I said, a patient were a severe neurotic, an in- 
curable case, would Freud tell him so? 

"You mean, do I think you are neurotic/' he said. 

I laughed, and said I didn't think I meant that; I didn't 
consider myself neurotic and didn't think I would be. At the 
worst, I was concerned to know whether Freud considered 
me neurotic, but I had not intended to ask him. I continued 
to talk freely. He would either say I was not neurotic, in 
which case I would agree, or that I was neurotic, in which 
case I would feel obliged to disagree. For the rest, when was 
one to call a person neurotic? I was pleasantly occupied, well 
able to work and enjoy myself, and did not seem to have any 
great present troubles. When I told Freud at the first hour 
we had, that I had had some disconcerting ideas some months 
ago, which disappeared in time, he was sceptical. 

"It is impossible," he repeated. 

So that, I continued, I had to take the view that Freud 
believed I was still troubled by these ideas. Since a patient, 
in one sense or another, comes to a doctor for reassurance, I 
wondered whether he had done the right thing. Doesn't it 
sometimes happen that a difficulty of that sort disappears by 



"It does happen, of course/' he said, "but it is liable to 

"But if it disappeared the first time, wouldn't it disappear 
the second time too? 7 ' I asked. 

"That is a scholastic question (eine Doktorfrage] " said 
Freud. "It may come back again and again, unless it is thor- 
oughly analyzed. Everybody has some such little trouble. You 
just had some little phobia. Everybody has some neurotic 

So that I felt I had not come off so badly after all. "A 
little phobia," and in the past tense too, and "the only ab- 
normal thing" ... all this seemed fair and true, and per- 
haps flattering. Freud himself (in Uber Deckerinnerungen) 
said that he had a "kleine Phobie" (he described himself 
transparently there as a "38-year-old Akademiker"). My self- 
esteem was not completely blasted, and there seemed to be 
enough healthy stuff left, even in Freud's opinion, to live on 



October 22, 1934 

Today's hour was most productive. Freud was in a friendly 
mood and talked freely. I was somewhat under the weather. 
Freud supposed it was due to the conflict with my uncon- 
scious he had aroused, but I said I thought it was due to more 
immediate troubles, with my work, and with my still un- 
certain future. Furthermore I was in a physically neglected 
state. I told Freud that I was not displeased with having a 
little phobia, although I added I was not altogether con- 
vinced I had one; it was just one of a series of disagreeable 
thoughts I sometimes had about myself, but which I did not 
take too seriously. I was inclined to criticize myself severely, 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

and often wondered whether I was vollwertig, or up to ex- 

"That is perfectly natural for a young person who has not 
yet tried his strength/' said Freud. "All young people should 
feel that way; if they do not it is abnormal. But it is irrele- 
vant whether you have a phobia now or not. Phobias are 
very common and I have had three or four myself; it is in 
any case an interesting point which ought to be examined." 

Before proceeding with the analysis, I asked whether I 
could from time to time discuss more general questions with 
him, which had no direct bearing on the analysis. Under the 
terms of my fellowship I was, for example, expected sooner 
or later to study the problem of homosexuality, and it would 
be interesting to know whether he thought that constitu- 
tional factors were important in its causation. 

"They are so very striking (so ins Auge springend) I haven't 
the least doubt of their importance," said Freud, "and cer- 
tain types, northern Europeans for example, seem to be espe- 
cially predisposed." 

"And yet," I said, "it has flourished most in southern coun- 
tries, in ancient Persia and Greece for example, and had 
disappeared again with changing fashions, though the racial 
continuity was preserved." 

"That is still an unsettled problem," he said, "though it is 
true that certain cultures may promote the development of 

"In any case," I said, "it is clear I have to study the con- 
stitution of homosexuals too." 

"I should think so," he said, "though it is another ques- 
tion whether you will find anything." 

"There were times in the past when I used to wonder 
whether I was manly enough," I said. 



"Nobody is completely masculine/' said Freud. 

"Years ago I used to think my voice was perhaps too high/' 
I said, "though it is lower now." 

Freud reminded me that one of my teachers at Bellevue, 
Schilder, a psychoanalyst, had a very high voice. I said I had 
noticed it and had thought about it. Freud hadn't known that 
Ellis's voice was rather high. I said it seemed to be frequently 
associated with a certain amount of tenseness which is often 
encountered in people of high ability. I was inclined to think 
it was a result of simple muscular tension affecting the vocal 

"I don't know about that," said Freud. 

"At least I have observed in myself/' I said, "that my voice 
is deep when I am relaxed in a warm bath, for example - 
and higher when I am under tension, among strangers for 
example. It is at least true as far as I am concerned," I con- 

"Don't say things in that way," said Freud; "it makes a bad 

I apologized, and said I simply meant that the observation 
held good for me, though maybe not for others. 

"And this brings us to the dream you had," said Freud, 
"for I have observed certain feminine elements in it which 
by no means implies that you are effeminate," he added. He 
then said, "The analyst does not say all that he thinks, but 
lets the subject talk until he reaches a point or topic that can 
be used in the analysis." 

One of the feminine elements in my dream, according to 
Freud, was the symbolic entry of the line of servants into the 
house. This, thought Freud, might represent a mother's 
womb with my brother and sisters issuing from it. Similarly, 
the dream of the little animals sucking my finger might have 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

represented female elements (since little animals always 
meant females) sucking at the breast Ellis and Frangoise 
represented my father and mother, and my disinclination to 
kiss her meant I really wanted to, and it was an Oedipus 
symbol. I thought this last was quite likely, but said that I 
thought the other things seemed far-fetched. Furthermore, 
since I felt no anxiety in the dream itself, I did not feel sure 
it was an anxiety dream. 

"You awakened before the actual anxiety came," said 
Freud. "For the present/' he added, "we are simply working 
with suppositions, since the analysis has only just begun." 

I ventured to say that I felt many dreams were simply a 
rationalization of a prevailing mood of the dreamer. 

"It is more likely to be just the contrary," said Freud, "and 
the dream represents a mood which the subject does not al- 
low himself when awake." He said, in addition, that it was 
not good to have preconceived ideas, since I would in time 
find I would have to revise them when I examined my 

When the subject of encephalitis happened to be men- 
tioned, Freud handed me a medical journal he had just re- 
ceived from Istanbul which he had in his hand, opened on an 
article called "Encephalitis" with some pictures of Freud. He 
was obviously thinking of telepathy. "The man who sent 
this to me from Istanbul five days ago could not have known 
of our conversation in advance. But," he said, "coincidences 
are always possible." I said Ellis believed in the possibility 
of telepathy but thought it was difficult to demonstrate. 

I told Freud we were thinking of having a child; my wife 
and I were talking about it but we were still undecided. 

"But your wife, who is twenty-eight, ought to have her 
children now while she is young." 



"I shall tell her that/' I said. "I know shell be very glad to 
hear that Professor Freud thinks so/ 7 

"It's no piece of wisdom on my part/' said Freud. "It is 
just ordinary medical knowledge that childbirth after thirty 
is no easy matter for a woman, merely from a physical point 
of view/ 7 

Freud again found occasion to speak strongly against 
Stekel. "Stekel," he said, "goes about and tells the patient at 
the outset: 'You hate your father, you have a fixation on your 
mother, etc/ which only arouses the patient's antagonisms. 
Next time you write to Ellis, tell him that he really should be 
ashamed of himself (er soil sich wirklich schdmen) that he 
recommended Stekel to you in any sense whatsoever/' 

October 23, 1934 

Today's hour was unsatisfactory. I was physically fatigued, 
mildly depressed, and rather indifferent, tired of boring into 
my interior. I spoke of various other things. I had been look- 
ing into Professor Krauss's Geschlechtsleben in Japan and 
asked Freud what he thought of it. He thought it a sober and 
valuable book; (Ellis, I think, had called it pornographic). 
I spoke of Hirschfeld. Freud said he knew him well, and that 
Hirschfeld was well informed, but scientifically dumb 
(wissenschaftlich dumm). I said he seemed to be homosexual 

"He doesn't seem to be," said Freud, "he is, and he makes 
no secret of it. And not only is he homosexual, but he is 
perverted in other ways. I have heard from a patient of mine 
how he satisfies himself in the most perverted way." This 
was said with emphasis, almost as if in moral indignation, 
and I did not know how it accorded with Freud's views on 
the analyst's discretion. I said a homosexual was not likely to 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

write objectively on homosexuality, but Freud thought he 
might very well be able to shed light on the subject. 

Soon afterwards I brought up the question of the future of 
monogamy under socialism. What did psychoanalysis think 
of it? Freud said it was a social question to which psycho- 
analysis can give no answer. 

"You must not expect that psychoanalysis gives finished 
answers to questions, which you can then take back home with 
you. All it can do is give insight into certain facts, and the 
problems are solved by the patient. We don't know what the 
future of monogamy will be, and cannot prophesy. There are 
places in the world today where monogamy is not practiced. 
If socialism comes, we shall see what happens. It is useless to 
prophesy. Monogamy does not seem to be disappearing in 
Russia. Monogamy in Europe today/' said Freud, "is a very 
loose affair anyway." 

We spoke of conditions in Russia for a while: I said the 
tendencies there are not clear, and the old morality certainly 
survives. "Still/' I said, "there may be strong psychoanalytic 
reasons for the continuance of monogamy. If a person looks 
for a mother type and finds one, perhaps he will be perma- 
nently satisfied/' 

"That is by no means clear/' said Freud, "for Don Juanism 
is connected with a mother fixation too." 

I resumed my account of myself, and said that in past years 
I had experience with both steady and sporadic relationships, 
thought that each had special attractions and shortcomings, 
but that I now found monogamy satisfactory. 

I gave an account of a dream I had last night in which two 
Negroes fought with each other and one was shot. I said I 
had been hearing talk of the oncoming revolution the night 
before and found it disturbing, and thought the dream rep- 


resented a symbol of strife and bloodshed. I had no definite 
associations for various details in the dream, at least appar- 
ently none that seemed significant. 

I had occasion to mention a dream I had long ago regard- 
ing The Hairy Ape of Eugene O'Neill and I told Freud of the 
scene in the play where the hero, a stoker, releases the ape 
from its cage and is then crashed to death by it. 

"That would be more appropriately a dream about the 
revolution/' Freud said; "you, as a member of the bour- 
geoisie which you are free the worker, only to be killed 
by him." 

I also had a dream that same night involving intimacies 
with a girl acquaintance. I could find no specially significant 
associations there either. I said in the course of the discussion 
of the dream that I preferred a "common sense" psychol- 
ogy. Freud then said I had too many ideas and too few asso- 
ciations. Either I could not relax myself sufficiently or else I 
had tremendous resistance (riesige Widerstdnde) . I did 
however discuss various memories and details, and Freud said 
in conclusion, "We have moved a little forward." 

October 24, 1934 

Today I had to leave an absorbing lecture on neuropathol- 
ogy to go to Freud's. I started the hour by saying that I had 
just left an interesting lecture on pathology at the Neurologi- 
cal Institute where I was working. I said I liked that kind of 
work, and if I had absolutely free rein that was what I would 
l>e doing, studying the organic basis of mental function. 

"I should think you might," said Freud, and then added 
sharply that I seemed to have more talent for that than for 
this sort of thing. I was a little surprised and hurt, perhaps a 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

little amused that Freud should suddenly say that, and I said 
at once that I was sorry he thought so. Perhaps I ought to 
change my work, I suggested. 

Freud made a little speech. "A person who professes to 
believe in common sense psychology and who thinks psycho- 
analysis is 'far-fetched' can certainly have no understanding 
of it, for it is common sense which produces all the ills we 
have to cure/' 

I explained that I simply meant that I preferred a psy- 
chology to be as simple as possible, and that I did not imply 
a criticism in saying his interpretation of a house as a womb 
was "far-fetched." I had simply meant to explain why I could 
not easily see the connection between the two. Freud said 
- that the simpler a psychology was, the less likely it was to be 
true. There was no need to change my profession, or to stop 
the analysis, since I could in any case learn something from it. 

"Besides/' I said, "how do you know I would do any better 
in neurology? A fact is a fact in any subject, and if I don't 
grasp facts perhaps I am no good at all." 

"It is just a question of suitability to the work," said Freud. 
"I have seen a lot of ambitious young people, and I can tell 
from their reaction how they will turn out. It is simply a 
matter of vocational choice." 

"That is too bad," I said, "since I shall probably continue 
my work in psychology anyway. I consider you the greatest 
psychologist we have had, and I should have liked nothing 
better than a word of encouragement from you. I'm sorry I 
have got just the opposite." 

"There is no need to show you any consideration," said 
Freud. "You have a degree of self-confidence that fortifies 
you against criticism. It is really enviable." 

I said a few words about the encouragement Ellis had 



given me. "Ellis's interest in you was just part of his general 
kindness/' said Freud. 

"Don't you think Ellis has any talent for psychology, 
either?" I asked. 

"He certainly hasn't/' said Freud. "I was reading his book 
on dreams last night. It has good ideas here and there, but 
the book as a whole does not show much insight Stekel, at 
least, in spite of his faults, had a certain gift for association 
and combination, and we are indebted to him for some valu- 
able symbol interpretations. For the rest, you have yourself 
told me how easily you learn things, and so on/' 

I said I didn't feel self-satisfied myself quite the contrary 
but I supposed it was a relative term, and it might be that 
I plagued myself less than others. Ellis thought that I had too 
little self-assurance. 

"You belong to the group of happy people/' said Freud. 
"You have your little fluctuations as young people do, but you 
are essentially happy." I tried to explain how sorry I was he 
got these impressions, that I regretted I had so much 
Widerstand and that I had acquired prejudices; I was quite 
willing to abandon them though I was obliged to acknowl- 
edge them while they were there. 

I proceeded to recount a dream: that I had mounted a 
ladder to get two books down from some library shelves, in 
the presence of Professor Marburg, to give to some woman 
doctor in the background. I said I felt it simply meant that I 
was climbing to get something that the Professor (Freud) 
could not get because of his age. Freud had me associate 
some of the things in the dream, and finally concluded that 
the ladder meant coitus, the books meant women, and the 
woman in the background was my wife. I was showing the old 
Professor, in short, how well I could practice coitus, to the 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

annoyance of my wife. "That sounds at least plausible/' he 
concluded, and I agreed. When I shook hands to leave I said 
again I hoped he would change his opinion of me in time 
and would tell me when he did, so that I could repress the 
memory of what he said today. 

"No need for that/' he said. 

As I left I asked whether he used the terms psychoanalysis 
and psychology interchangeably. 

"It's the same thing/' he said. "All psychology is psycho- 
analysis; what is left is the physiology of the senses/' 

October 2$, 1934 

A letter from Ellis arrived, with the following pertinent 

23 October ; 1934 

Your letters are interesting and I trust all goes well with 
your Freud experience, which certainly cannot fail to prove 

instructive (I have heard nothing lately from ; some 

time ago, as I may have mentioned to you, he asked me to 
cable him if I thought Freudian analysis was necessary for 
you; I did not do so, but wrote that I thought it advantageous 
but not necessary) . It certainly seems desirable to have made 
clear at the outset to him what your attitude is. It seems to me 
that his resentment is always directed mainly against those 
who were once declared disciples and then left him, and that 
he is not so very hostile to those who have never been his 
disciples. I rather wonder what he now says of Rank who 
was for so many years so closely associated with him, and is 
now completely emancipated (in some ways, it seems to me, 



rather in the direction of Jung). He has lately shown me 
two chapters of a new and much re-written version of his 
"Incest-Motif" He very much dissolves Freud's conception 
of the Oedipus Complex. You would certainly find Rank in- 
teresting to read, apart from any question of agreement; his 
culture is so wide and his literary style so good (not so always 
his translator's). 

What you say of the decay of the conventional distinction 
between psychological and physical is certainly true. I am 
always coming across evidence of it in all sorts of biological 
(and also philosophical) directions. Only this morning, again, 
when chancing to look into Ortega y Gasset . . . 


The letter contained other references to scientific discus- 
sions of ours with both agreements and disagreements, all in 
a tone of friendly debate which contrasted sharply with my 
current scientific discussions in Vienna. 

When I came for my analytic hour Freud found me read- 
ing, as usual, in his waiting room when he came in. "You 
can borrow any books you like," he said, "only you must tell 
me when you do." 

I began my hour by saying that I still felt offended at what 
he said yesterday. "Self-complacency and lack of talent are a 
bad combination," I said, "and I don't feel flattered." 

"They often occur together," said Freud, "but I didn't 
mean to pass final judgment on you. I still don't know you 
well enough. If Ellis for example were to write to me, "What 
do you think of Wortis?', I should answer that I had not 
known him long enough to say." 

I protested that psychoanalysts too often made use of the 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

convenient argumentum ad hominem to dispose of their 
critics, but that I thought it was bad scientific practice. 

Freud agreed. 'It's true/' he said, "that the young analysts 
analyze too much. But I was using the method in private, in 
the course of an analysis, to remove Widerstand, though it 
was appropriate just the same/' 

"But you simply increase the Widerstand by such 
methods/' I said. 

'That would just be a personal Widerstand" said Freud, 
"and would be easy to dispose of /* 

I proceeded to give an account of two dreams I had, both 
of them concerned with failure and loss of libido. Freud went 
back to another dream I had recounted yesterday, though, 
about a former teacher, and my guilt feelings in the dream 
for being truant from school. We discussed various free as- 
sociations to the dream, and whether certain numbers in the 
dream were concerned with money or not. Finally, Freud hit 
the sofa and said, "I have an idea! But I don't know whether 
it will please you. Or rather I don't care whether it pleases 
you; I don't know whether it is appropriate to the dream." 
He suggested that the dream meant that I was thinking of 
making money by absenting myself from the analysis now 
and then, and keeping the money for myself. I said I didn't 
think the interpretation applicable, since the idea had never 
even remotely occurred to me. Freud then took pains to ex- 
plain to me that I would actually have to pay in any case 
whether I came every day or not. This was said in earnest. 
Freud then asked me about my private finances, and whether 
the continuance of my analysis was in any way endangered. 
I assured him it was not. 

I had told the servant girl when I came in that the Profes- 
sor had been angry with me yesterday, but she said it didn't 



sound like him. "I've been working here so long/ 7 she said, 
"and I've never seen the Herr Professor really angry/' She 
asked me when I left if the Professor was still angry with me, 
but I said he was much nicer today. 

October 26, 1934 

I started the hour by speaking in a general way about 
things I had been reading in neurology, and said I was much 
interested in the relation between analysis and the condi- 
tioned reflex. But no comment was made, and I went on to 
recite a dream in which I visited an old girl friend. But I 
could not help reminding myself, in the course of my ac- 
count, of Freud's recent remarks, and since I was told to go 
on and tell my thoughts, I said that it was regrettable 
bedauerlich that Freud was so intolerant toward critics. 
"You act as if psychoanalysis stood high and perfect, and only 
our own faults keep us from accepting it; it does not seem to 
occur to you that it is simply polite to reckon with one's own 
prejudices too." 

"An analysis is not a place for polite exchanges/' said 
Freud. "I observed that you had a certain amount of Wider- 
stand and set about to remove it." 

"I can't see the technical advantage of that," I said, "for 
my pleasure in analysis is certainly diminished/' 

"It is best to leave matters of technique to me," said Freud. 

"I don't see why you brought Ellis in and slighted his 
relation to me," I went on to say. "Ellis is your loyal friend, 
and would be saddened to hear what you said of him." 

"I think he knows what I think of him," said Freud. "I 
don't know why he is interested in you I have no informa- 
tion on the subject I just said it was a sign of his general 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

We continued to talk in this petty way for a good part of 
the hour, since Freud seemed to insist on my complying with 
the rule to say everything I thought. I do not think he was 
indifferent to my remarks, though he sometimes took offense 
at the wrong things. I said, for example, that my wife sug- 
gested that maybe I was being oversensitive. 

"You will please tell your wife that I can make my own 
observations," he said. "If she were to come here, I should 
probably be very polite to her, but the analysis is a private 
matter between you and me, and you ought not to speak to 
anyone about it. You want to learn more about human nature 
(Menschenkenntnis) because you are ignorant and I am here 
to teach you. An analysis is not a chivalrous affair between 
two equals/' On the whole, Freud seemed contained and con- 
ciliatory, but my own feelings were unpleasant in more than 
one way, and I was dejected when I left 

"On Monday, again/' said Freud. 

October 29, 1934 

I took advantage of Freud's permission to read his works 
again. He had originally said it would interfere with the 
analysis, but he said on Friday I might just as well, since 
I had read so much anyway. I read from his introductory 
Vorlesungen and various essays with great interest and admira- 
tion, and commenced my hour yesterday by saying so. 

"There have been few men in the history of science who 
produced something of such real importance so independ- 
ently/' I said. 

"I had my predecessors/' said Freud, but he was apparently 
not displeased. 

"As for me," I said, "I must say again that I am sorry if I 
have been stubborn and superior, and make slow headway 



in accepting your ideas. Conceit is an unpleasant quality: 
I don't like it in others, and I am sure they don't like it in me t 
I should be perfectly willing if you treat it as a bad symptom 
and cure it if you can/' 

"I shall tell you when it comes up/' said Freud. 

"It was not so much your criticisms I minded/' I said, 
"as the feeling that I was not liked." 

"I didn't mean to put my personal feelings into it/' said 
Freud, and the discussion was therewith closed in a pleasant 

The dreams I had to report were three in number, and 
were concerned with my disappointment or sorrow at the 
loss of love in one form or another, which I related correctly, 
said Freud to our little unpleasant experience. I was then 
at a loss how to go on, and the question of my old phobia was 
revived. I repeated my story once more, and again said in all 
honesty that it no longer troubled me, though it was asso- 
ciated with unpleasant recollections. 

"It is a reminiscence," said Freud. "I feel/' he went on, 
"that this phobia, or concern of yours is worth going into. 
Something may be behind it." 

He agreed some overconcern about health was especially 
common among students who start work in medicine. "But 
it has a reason/' he added. 

I declared my willingness to admit this, and said I had 
some qualms about boring (grubelri) into it. 
"It's not boring into it/' said Freud. The revival of this 
old worry left me saddened and subdued, but I was glad the 
atmosphere had changed. 

Freud spoke of the word "introversion" I had used. He 
said it was not a psychoanalytic term, but was invented by 
Jung and was often misused. Its appropriate use, he ex- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

plained, was for extreme loss of interest in the outside world, 
as in schizophrenia; but everybody had a certain degree of 
introversion and extroversion. Freud some time before had 
also objected to the concept of "schizoid personality" as 
evolved by Kretschmer. "It is simply a kind of character de- 
velopment/' said Freud, and implied it had no close relation 
to schizophrenia, though I am not sure he actually said this. 
He also spoke on a little technical matter: remembering 
dreams. One should make no special effort to remember 
them, he said, and it is futile to note them down at the 
bedside with pencil and paper. By trying too hard, the re- 
sistance is simply moved to the side to cover something else, 
and it was in any case significant to note what was remem- 
bered most easily. If one has a natural interest and pleasure 
in thinking of a dream, that is another matter. 

October 31, 1934 

We came to discuss the question of the conditioned reflex 
again yesterday. "The concept belongs to physiology," said 
Freud, "It is silly (Idcherlich) to try to explain neuroses by 
it Give me an example!" 

I gave the example of Browning's persistent unwillingness 
to return to his old home after his mother's death, "because," 
I said, "it was simply associated with an unpleasant experi- 


"But many people refuse to leave the scene of a beloved 
person's death," said Freud. "Why is that? It's not so simple. 
Browning's reaction was abnormal, and it would be impor- 
tant to ask why. Why was he so attached to his mother? Why 
did he react in that special way?" I also spoke of the fre- 
quency of early initiation into homosexual experiences 


among people who later became homosexual. Freud quoted 
Ellis to the effect that there must have been a special sus- 
ceptibility in these people, or else they would not have re- 
sponded. "There are all sorts of additional factors: When 
the experience occurred, under what circumstances, to what 
individual, and so on. The idea of the conditioned reflex is 
completely superfluous. These are all merely associations/' 
continued Freud, "not reflexes; a reflex is an extremely 
simple matter. Rous, the pathologist, showed that when you 
injure an embryo in a very early stage you produce severe 
pathological changes in the animal later. If you injure it at a 
later stage you get much less striking changes/' 

I also brought up the question of the importance of con- 
stitution, and said I was glad he had written that half of every 
neurosis was organic. 

"I wrote nothing of the sort/' he said. "What I wrote was 
that the greater the organic disposition was> the less the 
psychological trauma has to be, and vice versa, and that there 
was a whole series of degrees (Erganzungsreihe] in which 
the combinations varied." 

I again told of the contact I had with a relative who be- 
came insane when I was a boy, and Freud thought it was 
significant. My parents should not have allowed us children 
to see that sort of thing, he said. I also said that the peculiar 
distaste people feel about going insane as compared with 
some other illness was due to the idea that they would be- 
come laughable in the eyes of others. 

"That," he said, "is a valuable suggestion, ein wichtiger 

I again began to speak of past unhappiness, but said I dis- 
liked reviving all this. "Don't you think you can revive past 
troubles in an analysis, without relieving them?" I asked. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"Nothing is revived/' said Freud. "Everything comes from 
within the patient. If he has any problem within him, nat- 
urally it would revive itself, and would be uprooted/' 

The hour was over. Before going, I spoke of some discus- 
sion I had had with Professor Julius Bauer, the internist, on a 
question of psychology, in which I supported some claim of 
Freud's. "But you must learn to quote me correctly," said 
Freud. ("Sie miissen mich aber richtig zitieren lernen"} 

November i, 1934 

I had been reading *Zur Einfiihrung des Narzissmus and 
had a few questions ready for Freud. 

"What is a neurosis?" I asked. "What is the difference 
between neuroses and ordinary troubles? Can a person feel 
well and still be neurotic?" 

"That would be unlikely," said Freud. "At best, he can 
tolerate his neurosis and get along. There are disorders of 
character, too," said Freud, "which are not neuroses but 
which may be unpleasant for the patient." 

"Not in themselves, though," I suggested. "For a quality 
of character cannot be bad in itself unless it is unpleasant for 
society, which then makes it unpleasant for the person." 

"Yes," said Freud, and he then gave a rather complete and 
formal definition of character as "the sum of all the regularly 
recurring reactions of an individual." 

"Then both neuroses and faults of character are fit objects 
for psychoanalytic treatment." 


"Napoleon then," I suggested, "might be analyzed even 
though he might be happy." 

"Yes," said Freud. 



"That is a sensitive spot with me/' I said, "for I some- 
times think I may have faults of character." 

"It doesn't matter in analysis/' said Freud. "We are not 
here to judge, not even if you were a criminal, or for my 
part a saint. 

"Some people are simply unsuited for analysis un- 
geeignet" said Freud. "I don't know whether you have ever 
examined protozoa under the microscope. Some animals are 
completely transparent, others are opaque, even though they 
only consist of a single cell like the others: they have too 
much pigment in them. Some people are like that too, and 
one cannot see through them/* 

"There are plenty of people who are ready to call any 
unusual behavior neurotic/' I said, "like the students at my 
college who thought there must be something wrong with 
anybody who read poetry." 

"Unusual conduct isn't necessarily neurotic/' said Freud. 

"Many people take it for granted, too," I said, "that homo- 
sexuals are neurotic, though they might be perfectly capable 
of leading happy and quiet lives if society would tolerate 

"No psychoanalyst has ever claimed that homosexuals can- 
not be perfectly decent people," said Freud. "Psychoanalysis 
does not undertake to judge people in any case/' 

"Still," I said, "it makes a difference to homosexuals 
whether they are considered neurotic or not." 

"Naturally homosexuality is something pathological," said 
Freud. "It is an arrested development (eine Entwicklungs- 

"But plenty of valuable qualities could be called the same: 
you might call the simplicity of genius a kind of childishness 
or arrested development too/' I said. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"Of course/' said Freud, "the fact that a person is a genius 
doesn't prevent his having pathological traits: if he is only 
five feet tall instead of six, that would have to be called 

"The question, though/' I said, "is whether one ought 
to undertake to cure homosexuals as if they were diseased, 
or make their lot easier by making society more tolerant/' 

"Naturally," said Freud, "the emphasis ought to be put on 
social measures; the only homosexuals one can attempt to 
cure are those who want to be changed." 

"But that might only have the effect of making them dis- 
contented heterosexuals instead of honest homosexuals." 

"Certainly," said Freud. "One often has the experience of 
starting an analysis with a homosexual who then finds such 
relief in being and talking just as he is that he drops the 
analysis and remains homosexual." 

"Another question I wanted to ask is how important you 
have found money troubles in the etiology of neuroses? You 
do not seem to consider that in your writings, and I would 
be curious to know how you feel about it." 

Freud seemed to take unnecessary offense at this. "There 
are a lot of things I don't mention in my books," he said. 
"That's the sort of criticism I often hear from the Bolsheviki. 
I can't discuss everything. I don't discuss climate either, 
though it is certainly important. I should certainly feel better 
if I were in a better climate. Certainly money troubles con- 
tribute to neuroses. Many things do. You might just as well 
criticize a chemist for not writing about physics. These are all 
such unimportant problems you bring up, the kind of easy 
questions that ought not to interest a serious scientist at all," 

I said I was sorry: I knew the questions were simple and 
naive; that was why I wanted to settle them at the outset. 



"We don't settle them," said Freud, "we disregard them. 
I don't understand how you can concern yourself with such 
purely conventional problems (rein konventionelle Pro 
bleme], what is a neurosis and what is not a neurosis, what is 
pathological or not pathological all mere words fights 
about words. First learn something about neuroses and then 
you will know what a neurosis is. With all your scientific 
curiosity (Wissbegierde) there are big loopholes in your in- 
terests. Your business is to learn something about yourself. 
You talk of this and that, about money and abstract ques- 
tions, because you are not really interested in yourself you 
have no curiosity. You have too many of what you yourself 
call prejudices. I remember them all, and will recite them to 
you in time. First, your famous 'common sense/ then your 
'far-fetched/ then I forget what/' 

"Conditioned reflex," I suggested. 

"Yes, conditioned reflex such nonsense when my friend 
Bechterev thinks he can explain everything with conditioned 
reflexes; and then yesterday you brought up the most im- 
portant of all the "sleeping dog' (in English) one ought 
not to awaken him." I think Freud was here referring to the 
English saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie." "It does sometimes 
happen that a normal person can start a psychoanalysis and 
become neurotic in the course of it, and then be cured," he 
added. "But that is only because he carries the germ of a 
neurosis in him. You are not neurotic, but you can be in 
time. The thing to do is to bring it all out and uproot it 
That is what you don't want to do 7 and all other reasons are 
just a cover for this." 

"That is quite possible/' I said. "I am perhaps afraid of 
my unconscious." 

"Of course/* said Freud, "that is why you make aH these 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

difficulties. I tell you, it may be just as well if we make this 
our last hour" he had given me the month's bill at the out- 
set "if you feel that way about it." 

I said I would be sorry if the analysis had to stop. I would 
do what I could to cooperate and would always be ready to 
change my views. 

"All right/ 7 said Freud, "but you ought to be ashamed of 
yourself for acting that way, grumbling and growling for 
three days because I said this or that to you. You will have to 
give up your sensitivity. You ought to understand that I am 
not interested in passing judgment on you. If I say anything 
it is only for the sake of the analysis, and you ought not to 
worry what motives I have." 

I said I brought up all these other matters because the 
time was short, and I had hoped to draw out some opinions 
on general questions from Freud. 

"You wanted to impress me," said Freud. 

"I don't think so," I said. "I was just curious to know how 
you approached a problem and tackled it." 

"But that is not what an analysis is for," said Freud. "You 
are not here to get things out of me, wise words and the like; 
all that has nothing to do with the analysis." 

"But it is tempting," I said, "because you are a great man, 
and I know how interesting Eckermann's conversations 
were" an allusion to Eckermann's Conversations with 

I thought there was a brief approving silence at this point, 
but Freud said, "I am not acting differently from the way 
any other analyst would act in the same situation, no matter 
who he was." 

I promised again to try to be good. "We shall see," said 



Freud. "Some people make conscious promises, but with un- 
conscious qualifications; we shall see." 

'Til do what I can/' I said. I thereupon resumed the ac- 
count of my difficult period a year and a half ago, and told 
of a girl I knew, a friend of my brother's, who developed an 
hysterical psychosis, which I tried unsuccessfully to treat; she 
had to go to a hospital for a while, where she recovered. 
Freud asked one or two questions in detail, and the hour 

"I will do what I can (ich werde mein Moglichstes 
versucheri)" I said again when I went out 

November 2, 1934 

I started immediately with a recitation of three dreams: 
the first, of walking in the cold with my father; the second 
of the murder of a Negro woman servant by my landlady, 
the third, of a lecture in psychiatry by Professor Meyer. The 
third of these was the only one I could remember in some 
detail: Professor Meyer was older in the dream than he really 
was, and wore side whiskers. My wife was present with me, 
my friend Jack had come and I was pleased that he showed 
this interest in psychiatry. Though I had felt the scene of 
the dream was in Baltimore, actually it looked more like 
Boston. My interpretation of the dream was mainly that 
Professor Meyer (representing Freud?) wore bourgeois side 
whiskers because I had been thinking both he and Freud 
represented bourgeois psychology. Freud immediately inter- 
rupted to say the criticism was unjustified that was the sort 
of thing the Communists said against him, but it was false, 
"A science cannot be bourgeois/' he said, "since it is only 
concerned with facts that are true everywhere." 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

t/' I said, "the facts are nothing but observations on 
patients, and these patients were largely from the middle 

"That is true/' said Freud, "but that can't be helped; all 
the observations will hold true for a certain society. If the 
society changes, then the phenomena will be different/' 

Regarding the dream itself, I gave what associations I 
could about the scene and persons. I said that the patient 
whom Professor Meyer demonstrated wore glasses and looked 
like a certain obscure person who frequented the coffeehouse. 

"It is of course possible that it is myself/' I said, "though 
I do not think so." 

"That is a well-known method of projection," said Freud, 
and evidently thought I had hit the nail on the head. 

I went on in all honesty to give an account of my first 
visit to Meyer, and my attending doubts and feelings of in- 
adequacy which disappeared when I met Meyer and talked 
to him. I also resumed my account of my feelings and 
thoughts then, and told of this or that friend whom I thought 
neurotic, including my wife though I now felt I was mis- 

"You see," said Freud, "that these recurrent compulsive 
ideas are related to your love-life." The hour ended here. 
I was not pleased to hear Freud's interpretation and said 
I admitted it only tentatively but with some reservations. 

"You just mean you don't like it," said Freud. 

November 5, 1934 

Today's hour went rather smoothly and did not bring us 
far, for we were still concerned with settling old matters, 
and we got a bit involved in personalities. I said at the out- 
set that I was feeling out of sorts verstimmt. 



"That is healthy/' said Freud. I said that, considering what 
I had heard of myself up to now, I was not inclined to think 
much of myself. 

"The judgment is premature/' said Freud, "You should 
wait a while/ 7 

I had at least not known up to then that I was neurotic 
and that I had compulsory ideas. 

"To the degree you have them/ 7 said Freud, "it is no great 

"At least/' I said, "I didn't know I had these same troubles 
now, though I would be willing to talk about their signifi- 
cance in the past" 

"All right then," said Freud. "It doesn't matter whether 
you have them now or not; the trouble can always come 
again. I had forewarned you at the outset that a neurosis can 
be revived in an analysis. But the interesting thing is how 
you turn everything into a judgment on you, as if that were 
the only thing that mattered." 

"I don't like to lower my opinion of myself, without get- 
ting something in return," I said. 

"That is not a scientific attitude," said Freud. "You have 
not yet completed the transition from the pleasure principle 
to the reality principle/' 

"That may be," I said, but I did not know what to answer. 
I proceeded with an account of some dreams, which did 
not appear relevant to our discussion, and revived various 
memories, but none of the dreams could actually be inter- 

During a pause in my recitation, Freud said: "Say 

I said, "I am afraid I would launch off again into scientific 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"But you see that is only a kind of Widerstand" said 
Freud. "You can say anything you like about me, too/' he 

"I don't know/ 7 I said. "I don't know which of us is the 
most sensitive/' 

"You know very well which of us is/' said Freud, and he 
added, to avoid any misunderstanding, "It is you." 

"Anyway," I said, "I don't usually like to fight." 

At another point in the discussion, I said, "One hears a lot 
about emotional Widerstand to analysis, but less of an emo- 
tional attraction to the psychoanalytic procedure." 

"That exists too," said Freud. "Das gibt's auch." 

"It seems to me," I said, "a great many things have oc- 
curred to me in your presence, and I have said a great many 
things, because I felt it would accord with your ideas or 
interests. I know you are interested in neurotic material. 
When I am with a friend who is interested in socialism, for 
an example, I think and talk socialism with him." 

"But you ought not to care what I think," said Freud. 
Later he said that attitude of mine was so much Widerstand. 

I paid Freud for the month and asked him if he would 
receipt the bill with the conventional German phrase, 
"dankend solviert" "received with thanks" so I could send 
it to America. 

"Why with thanks?" he said. "I give you something which 
is at least as valuable as what you give me." 

"I thought it was a mere technical formula," I said. 

"Among businessmen, maybe," said Freud. 

November 6, 1934 

At this point I began to seriously question the whole con- 
duct of the analysis, and felt mountains were being made 



of molehills. I had thought of it in the afternoon, and de- 
cided that the clue to the whole past period that we had 
been discussing lay in the simple fact that during a time of 
loneliness and adversity I had felt discouraged and inade- 
quate and had some self-depreciatory ideas which were dis- 
sipated when my situation was relieved. It was at this point 
that I determined that the best guarantee for the mainte- 
nance of healthy wholesome attitudes was the preservation of 
a way of life which was rich, meaningful, productive and 
thoroughly social, I felt that Freud's absorption with the 
subjective aspect of psychology was blinding him to the im- 
portance of real experience, of a, person's way of life, of his 
social situation. It also began to become clear to me that the 
manner in which one conducted one's life could both relieve 
and induce psychological difficulties. I spoke to Freud of some 
of these ideas as I began to formulate them to myself, and 
added that under certain circumstances a degree of self-doubt 
and self-criticism seemed normal and healthy it made one 
more human, increased one's sympathy and need not really 
interfere with work and happiness. 

Freud thought this explanation of that past period 
sounded quite reasonable; it seemed to be a kind of success- 
ful compromise. He said there was in any case no special 
cause for concern, since all neurotic mechanisms occur in 
normal people, and there was no reason why I should picture 
myself as a severe neurotic. 

I went on to say that I had Ellis to thank for the improve- 
ment of my spirits when I came to England. We experienced 
so much kindness and hospitality in England, and I had so 
much pleasure in my work, that I felt at home in the world 
again. Ellis was especially kind and considerate: one felt that 
he respected and valued one's individuality, and he himself 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

seemed so much more shy than myself, with no apparent 
disadvantage, that I felt it was best to take myself for what I 
was, go about my business in my own way; perhaps shyness 
and some self-distrust were in the long run all to the good. 
One could not be everything at once: If I wanted to be a 
student of men and science, I need not be a charming and 
successful society figure too. 

Freud said yes, Ellis was very kind and considerate, and 
that was why he was everywhere loved "seine allgemeine 

"And he helps people too," I added. 

"It's true that it is helpful to be liked by Ellis/' said Freud, 
"but that is all superficial it just gives you a kind of pleas- 
ant social standing. Ellis goes about and picks people, as one 
might pick out a good-looking woman at a ball. Naturally it 
is a satisfaction to a woman to be chosen in this way. But 
beauty is only skin deep. That kind of help doesn't go very 

"But the feeling of sympathy one has is certainly very 
helpful," I protested. "It is like the positive transference of 
psychoanalysis, which is certainly an important part of the 

"No," said Freud. "I am glad you brought the ques- 
tion up, because I can clear up the misunderstanding: the 
positive transference is not part of the psychoanalytic 
therapy. The psychoanalytic cure consists in bringing uncon- 
scious material to consciousness; to this end the positive trans- 
ference is used, but only as a means to an end, not for its 
own, sake. It's the same with suggestions. It's true that the 
analyst uses suggestion, but only to help the psychoanalytic 

Freud also began to talk of Ellis's relation to psychoanal- 



ysis. Ellis had some years ago written of psychoanalysis and 
said it made use of a procedure which was the opposite of 
scientific. If a patient admitted something, said Ellis, the 
analyst accepted it. If 7 however, the patient denied some- 
thing, the analyst decided it was an admission too, concealed 
by a conscious denial. This, said Ellis, was like "heads I 
win, tails you lose/' (Freud used the English phraser) 

"Now Ellis," said Freud, "was doing great harm to psycho- 
analysis by treating it so unjustly: it amounted to calling 
psychoanalysts a bunch of scoundrels (Verbrecher) , and El- 
lis's opinions were likely to be influential/ 7 

Ellis did not know what he was talking about, Freud went 
on to say. It was no great matter if a man did not know any- 
thing about psychoanalysis, only he ought not to talk about it. 
At any rate, Ernest Jones, the London psychoanalyst, at- 
tacked Ellis Freud thought it was in the International 
Journal of Psychoanalysis and Ellis thereupon wrote to 
Freud in protest. Freud however felt it his duty to say, as 
politely as he could, that Jones was in the right. Freud told 
me this whole story, and I listened as sympathetically as I 
could, though I felt from my own experience that Ellis was 
not altogether wrong. 

"Maybe he was three per cent right," I said. "An unskill- 
ful analyst could put together any kind of arbitrary theory 
on this basis/' 

"Of course," said Freud. "It all depends on the analyst 
But we are sure he will use his judgment and experience. 
You always have to reckon on Widerstand. If there were no 
Widerstand, there would be no neuroses and no psychoanal- 
ysis, because nothing would ever have to be repressed/' 

I had brought along my Observations of a Psychiatric 
Interne, an account of my first assignment in a psychiatric 

Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

hospital, which I thought Freud might want to read, hut he 
politely declined, saying it was bad policy to use written ma- 
terial in an analysis. There was another reason, he added, 
but he would not tell me now. 

I discussed a little essay of Freud's called Die Verneinung 
dealing with the significance of a patient's denials. 

"It's true/' said Freud, "that an analyst accepts an affirma- 
tion as such, because it means the patient consciously accepts 
the suggestion. If, however, the patient denies the suggestion 
it may either mean that it is true or untrue that depends. 
The patient may simply not want to admit it. Generally, a 
patient simply neglects an inappropriate suggestion; if he re- 
acts to it at all, it is generally a sign that there is something 
to it." 

November 7, 1934 

The hour went by with an empty recitation of activities 
and work interests. There were no dreams to report. It was 
as if I had tried all night, I said, and brought nothing to 
light for my pains. 

November 8, 1934 

I had several dreams during the night, both pleasant and 
unpleasant, and one sex dream, but felt refreshed and stimu- 
lated in the morning. My day was pleasant but busy, and I was 
obliged to come a little late to my hour. I started at once 
with a recitation of four dreams: one a simple sex dream, 
two of them concerned with hospital duties and my rela- 
tions with the doctors, and the fourth, an anxiety dream, 
representing the death of a pregnant woman during an emer- 
gency operation. The symbolism in all these dreams was in- 
volved, and seemed to point to an interest in my shyness and 



in the hard lot of the poor. The dream of the death of a 
woman reminded me of unpleasant hospital experiences, but 
I could not associate the person with any specific woman. 
After a little thought, I said it could of course be my wife, 
but there was nothing in the dream to suggest it and I did 
not think so. Freud thereupon implied it was in all prob- 
ability my wife, and said my denial simply strengthened the 
significance of the association. 

In the dream, the doctor gave the poor patient a small 
sum of money sixty-five groschen, or maybe three schillings, 
sixty-five groschen. Freud concentrated his attention on the 
numbers. "Numbers," he said, "are always significant/' But 
I could get nothing out of them. Finally, he suggested that 
the number 365 reminded him of the days of the year. To 
this I responded that there were several things I associated 
with "y ear " : I was concerned about how many years my 
present work would last; I also had thought that it would 
take years to patch up the neurosis Freud seemed to think 
I had. But I did not really think all this had anything to do 
with the dream. 

At the end of the hour, Freud paid me a slight compli- 
ment by saying I had worked better in this hour than hereto- 

"I attribute that/' I said with levity, "to revived gonadal 

"Possibly," he said. 

November 9, 1934 
Correspondence with Ellis continued, on various topics. In 

a letter dated November 6, 1934, he wrote, in response to an 

apparently cheerful letter of mine: 

", . it is satisfactory that you get on well with Freud, and 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

succeed in keeping your end up, which must certainly be 
difficult with so dominating a person. . . " 

When I got to my analytic hour I told Freud that I 
dreamed that my landlord, who resembled Freud, found me 
prowling innocently about the house at night, and thereupon 
asked me to move out because I was a criminal. I thought 
the interpretation was simple: Freud had said a few days 
ago that it didn't matter to the analyst whether the patient 
was a saint or criminal. My own impression at that time was 
that the analyst in my case considered the patient more crim- 
inal than saintly, and I resented it. There was another person in 
the dream with whom I seemed to identify myself an un- 
pleasant but talented and ambitious young doctor, for whom 
nobody seemed to have a good word. 

Freud seemed out of sorts during the hour and said little* 
I wondered if he even listened. He made only a few brief 
comments, and forgot occasional points. My stream of talk 
petered out I went back to yesterday's dreams, which Freud 
asked me to repeat. I left the last one out about the dying 
woman and could not remember it. Freud reminded me, 
and added that my forgetting it showed it was repressed. He 
scored a point there, for it was certainly the least pleasant 
of the dreams. 

I said I continued to feel well. I was pleasantly engaged 
in studying brain anatomy and was making good progress. 

"Do you think you will find the cause of homosexuality 
that way?" asked Freud. 

"No," I said, "but I have other interests besides that. Be- 
sides, it may give me hints. The pituitary gland at the base 
of the brain, for example, is certainly important in sex func- 
tions. I ought to know something about it. And there are 
other analogous neurological problems which may prove sug- 



gestive: left-handedness, for example it may have the same 
kind of cause as homosexuality/' Anyway, I continued, I 
also felt good because Professor Marburg had just started his 
little neuroanatomy seminar, and I found it very interesting. 
Moreover, I was happy over the turn the analysis had taken, 
and was glad that the little problem that we first discussed 
was cleared up. 

"I am not so sure/' said Freud. 

"I at least hope so/ 7 1 said, and thought to myself, it is not 
likely I will be befuddled into another maze of conflicting 
doubts soon again, not even at Freud's suggestion. 

"Talking of denying things (Verneinung)" I said, "it 
occurred to me that I have denied a good many things al- 
ready. I have for example already twice denied the possibly 
homosexual significance of two dreams I had." I repeated 
them. In one of them, I was simply walking with my father, 
in another I was talking to a London Bobby. I think I re- 
vived these denials with mischievous intent, and proceeded 
to talk of some homosexual acquaintances, and of my thoughts 
on homosexuality. Freud listened. I said I was glad I was not 
homosexual and felt perfectly satisfied with heterosexuality. 
It might be a consolation to think I could enjoy myself twice 
as much if I were bisexual, but it might also be true that I 
would have twice as many love troubles (Liebeskummer) . 

"But you haven't had any love troubles/' said Freud, so 
that I reminded him of some that I had had. 

I was glad, I said, that Freud was more pleased with my 
"work/' though I said it was more like play. 

"I simply meant," said Freud, "that you were cooperating 
more, and not criticizing so much. Next week again/' he con- 
cluded. We shook hands, and he said, "Adieu" 

6 9 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

November 12, 1934 

I was unfortunately (and really unavoidably) late again. 
'That means Widerstand" said Freud, and I was at pains to 
explain that it was really unavoidable. Freud was, I think, 
not altogether convinced. 

I remarked that parts of the last letter from Ellis saddened 
me, for he spoke of his failing energies. "When one is old/' 
said Freud, "what can one expect?" 

"It is a sad world/' I said, "everything is topsy-turvy and 
rotten; all that Ellis stands for is forgotten, and war may 
come now any minute. What has a young man to look for- 
ward to? What chance has he to feel he can do useful work 
against the background of this huge rottenness this Scheuss- 

"I am sorry I can say nothing against that/' said Freud, 
"for I share your opinion. People like Ellis have little power 

I spoke of various things in my past my feelings about be- 
ing a Jew, my views on anti-Semitism, and my not infre- 
quent thoughts about death. "That is quite common in young 
people/ 7 said Freud. With reference to the Jewish question, 
he agreed that Jews were forced into closer relations to each 
other by pressure from the outside. 

"In England, France and Italy especially/' he said, "where 
the Jews are freely recognized, they are all strongly patri- 

I had occasion to mention an article Ellis once wrote 
against anti-Semitism, in which Freud's name was men- 
tioned with high praise, and Freud again seemed pleased. 
I spoke of my great liking for England. "I can under- 
stand that," said Freud, "I have always been a strong Anglo- 


phile." He said his son was now in London. I had heard of 
him through Ellis. I said it was only in England that one 
could find so many high-minded people in so small a space, 
and Freud agreed. We came to speak again of the frequency 
of homosexuality in England, and Freud again said he felt it 
was particularly common there and in Germany too. Ellis 
had denied this. Freud said it was particularly pronounced 
among the leaders of English thought . . . among writers 
and the like. I did not know if he was right. He said it was 
merely his impression. 

I told Freud of Professor PotzFs lecture last night om 
"Brain and Mind (Gehirn und Seele)" an ambitious sub- 
ject, and Freud was interested to hear what Potzl said. He 
was pleased to hear that his name was prominently men- 
tioned. "Potzl, you know, was a pupil of mine/' he said, "but 
he has since gone his own way/ 7 

There was not much more to say. Freud told me to speak 
of anything. "Just let your mind drift," he said in English. 
"You don't have to speak of things that happen now/' he 
added. "Anything will do, past or present, since it is all of 
one piece, and our purpose is to see the structure of your 
mind, like an anatomist/' 

I spoke of various little things, such as peculiarities 
I thought I had. I said for example that I sometimes ab- 
sent-mindedly scratched my head or cleaned my nails. 

"You ought to break yourself of the habit," said Freud. 

Of my dreams, I could remember nothing, though I 
thought I must have had some. But I had followed Freud's 
advice and made no effort to remember. At the end of the 
hour, Freud rose quietly as usual, and I followed. 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

November 13, 1934 

The fiftieth anniversary of Roller's discovery of the effect 
of cocaine on the eye was celebrated recently, and I spoke to 
Freud about it and of his share in the discovery. 

"There is not the least question who deserves the credit 
for it," he said, implying it was Roller. "Es ist eine klare 
Sache it is a clear matter." 

I said it almost always happens that a discovery is in the 
air at any given time and several people can be found work- 
ing on the same task. 

"Not always/ 7 he said. "Roentgen rays, for example, were 
discovered by a single worker." 

"I understand, however, that was largely an accident," I 

"But there is an element of chance in every discovery/' 
said Freud. 

"Well," I said, to get back to myself, "I am not myself 
working on any great discovery now; it is not likely that I 
shall ever make one." 

"Do you think it necessary then?" a.sked Freud. 

"No," I said, "but some great idea would help me to con- 
centrate my work and interests; at present everything inter- 
ests me and I get nowhere, just acquire a smattering of every 
subject. In medicine you have to work intensely in a small 
field. It is too vast an area to cover nowadays, and I have too 
many distracting interests. I console myself with the idea 
that there is still a place for somebody to attempt to coordi- 
nate knowledge in different fields, even if his knowledge has 
to remain superficial." 

I related a few dreams I had; one of them was a thought 
rather than a dream in which I seemed worried at the pos- 
sibility that my analysis would turn up a neurosis; there 



was another dream in which I spoke Italian to a little girl in 
the presence of Professor Bauer and his wife, but this pro- 
duced no very significant associations. I had seen the wife 
and liked her, and the girl corresponded to a picture of a 
little girl I had seen in the paper. Bauer had recently spoken 
Italian to a patient. Freud suggested that the dream meant I 
preferred Bauer's wife to him, and that there was an iden- 
tification or comparison of myself with Bauer. 

November 14, 1934 

"Does a didactic analysis differ from an ordinary analysis 
in any important respect?" I asked. 

"Not essentially/' said Freud; "only insofar as the material 
and progress of the analysis is different With a neurotic pa- 
tient the analysis must follow the fluctuations of symptoms 
and Widerstand and adapts itself to the state of the patient 
at any given time. With a healthy student, these fluctua- 
tions don't always occur unless he is neurotic to start with or 
becomes neurotic during the analysis. I have been waiting for 
this question, for I knew that you would pretty soon ask 
where we were getting, and I must admit that from an ana- 
lytic point of view we are not getting far. You are a so- 
called normal person Sie gehoren den sogenannten Gesun- 
den an. You have found your contentment by the same 
processes that occur in psychoanalysis, by consolidation [I am 
not sure I understood this] and adjustment* You can be sure 
you have your repressions (Verdrangungen), too, only they 
don't show themselves. You have no incentive for showing 
them. The only reason you can have for cooperating in an 
analysis is scientific curiosity. You notice my methods with 
you have changed. I tried to use personal criticism for a 
while, but you were too sensitive to it, and began to criticize 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

me in turn, so that I have had to treat you more carefully 
(schonend) lately." I was pleased to hear that Freud thought 
me so sound, and I said I was not so sure I was so well-ad- 
justed and contented. 

"It's true/' I said, "I go about my business and when frus- 
trated do the next best thing, on principle, but this full ac- 
tivity does not mean that I have no problems inside. There 
are many times when I am sad, sometimes for long periods." 

"Everybody has such periods/' said Freud. 

"Lately, however/' I said, "it is true I have been feeling 
well and contented although I've had my doubts and appre- 

"Your subjective sense of well-being can be objectively con- 
firmed/' said Freud, "for I have the same impression." 

"There are probably people in my circle of acquaintances 
though/' I said, "who would be less sure of my thorough 
soundness, and I have from time to time heard unpleasant 
things about myself." 

"Why?" asked Freud. 

"I don't always have a free and easy manner with people. 
I get terribly self-conscious sometimes, especially with cer- 
tain people." I elaborated, "Maybe it is a guilty conscience 
Schuldgefiihl" and apologized for using a technical expres- 

"Why?" said Freud. 

'Well/' I said, "I do lots of things which don't accord with 
the standards or values of my community, and I feel they 
would disapprove." I said, for example, I often felt self-con- 
scious in the presence of Ellis, not however before Freud. 

"But Ellis is certainly not a conventional person," said 
Freud. "He would not consider you immoral." 

"I don't know/' I said. "I act so meanly sometimes that I 



wonder what Ellis would think of me if he could know. Be- 
sides, I feel Ellis may have too high an opinion of me, and 
I am undeserving." I reminded Freud of his little essay 
Die am Erfolge scheitern, and said I might be an example 
of those who take successes badly. I always seem to find my- 
self too much admired and too seldom liked; at least I was 
often troubled by that idea, though it probably was not 
strictly true. I used to think I had too many successes and a 
few failures here and there might make me more human. 

"Still, you do not seem to like my disparaging remarks 
quite the contrary." 

"Everything in moderation/' I said. '"When a young man 
hears he is not suited to the profession to which he will prob- 
ably dedicate his life, it is rather disconcerting." 

"I didn't say you were not suited to it/' said Freud. "I 
had simply said 'no extraordinary talent/ " 

"It wasn't so much the criticism anyway/' I said; "it was 
the manner in which it was said." 

At any rate, the atmosphere was advantageous for a recital 
of all my little difficulties with this or that person, social shy- 
ness, wanting to be better liked, etc. Freud listened atten- 
tively. I again revived the recollections of a year ago, and 
tried to give them the moderate emphasis they deserved, 
which was something less than they were accorded up to now 
in the analysis. At that time I was perfectly able to go 
about my work with ease and tolerable contentment, and 
even had very good times occasionally. The whole episode 
did not last, even then, more than two months or so. 

"A person can have ideas like that once or twice," said 
Freud, "but there is no reason why he should think he is be- 
ing put in the same class as a severe neurotic. That shows 
your tendency to think in abstractions again. I refer to the 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

ideas as compulsive and immediately you take the big jump 
to the conclusion that you are classed as a neurotic/' 

At this point Freud's big chow was heard scratching on 
the door, and Freud rose, as he often had before, to let the 
dog in. She settled on the carpet and began licking her pri- 
vate parts. Freud did not approve of this behavior, and tried 
to make her stop. "It's just like psychoanalysis/' he said. 

I asked whether any of the psychoanalytic theories could 
be proved by animal experimentation. One could, for ex- 
ample, easily find out whether a monogamous ape chooses its 
mother-type in picking a partner. 

"That is not psychoanalysis/' said Freud, "though psy- 
choanalysis can make use of such knowledge/' 

We spoke of myself; I described further examples of shy- 
ness, but said I was not much troubled by it, and gave my 
own explanation, which, right or wrong, had satisfied me up 
to now. 

"All that sounds plausible and reasonable," said Freud, 
"but we can only discover what it really means by studying 
your dreams. We have to see the other side of the picture/' 

November 15, 1934 

Unfortunately the clock at the Neurological Institute was 
a few minutes slow and I came late again. I tried to explain 
but psychoanalytic theory was against me and it was clear 
that Freud again considered it so much Widerstand. "Work 
well now to make up for it," he said, but he was in an irrita- 
ble mood throughout the hour, and kept tapping on the 
sofa-head with his fingertips. I went straight to business with 
the best of intentions, and added a detail to my dream about 
Bauer the day before: that I did not know whether to look 


him in the eyes or not, a thought that frequently occurred to 
me in waking life. I then went on to describe a further 
dream: a man resembling Buffalo Bill and his wife had a 
daughter whom I examined psychiatrically. Perhaps I found 
something I didn't know but I noticed that the father was 
particularly irritable and on close examination, he turned 
out to have an incipient general paresis. 

Regarding the dream, I said I had just the day before 
made a diagnosis of general paresis at the Bauer clinic on a 
case that had been overlooked. 

I made the further interpretation: I was the father, gen- 
eral paresis was an abnormality, and my own irritability 
sometimes seemed abnormally intense. The daughter might 
be T.O. or my wife, the wife might be my wife I wasn't 
sure. I told a little of T.O. and her mother; Freud had me 
spell the name. Furthermore, I had a little conversation with 
my wife the night before which seemed pertinent. I had told 
her that Freud said I was healthy, but I added jokingly that 
I had swindled him really and I was in fact crazy as a loon. 

Freud thereupon said he did not mean to flatter me by 
calling me healthy. I was just one of those supposedly 
healthy (angeblich gesunden) people who went about with- 
out much trouble because their complexities were stored 
away out of reach. 

"There is no reason to feel proud of it," he said. 

"One likes to be healthy," I said, "but I was not altogether 
sure you did me justice. I don't like those smooth people 
who seem to have no troubles. They don't attract my sympa- 
thy and aren't very likeable." 

"It's enviable, to be sure," said Freud, "but it doesn't 
mean anything. But when I said you had a tendency to ru- 
minate you didn't like the idea and rejected it right away." 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"In fact/' I said, "it bothered me because I thought it 
might be true. But ruminations or obsessions are ideas that 
come again and again to consciousness " 

"That's right," said Freud. 

" and I had no such idea/' I continued. "It was simply a 
fact that I had no such idea. In spite of the strong stimulus 
the analysis gave, I found I was not concerned with any of 
my old preoccupations. It is true I had one preoccupation for 
a while, but it was only for a short time, and never previously 
or since. Lots of people have had that kind of idea. It de- 
pends on the extent and intensity/' I said. 

"Exactly/' said Freud; "but it doesn't matter what I 
say, you always disagree." 

"I don't disagree," I said. "I simply examine everything 
you say critically. I see that people are fooled by their prej- 
udices: they like to believe what is pleasant and deny what is 
unpleasant. It was pleasant to be called healthy, but I was not 
so sure it wa.s correct. At least, I considered the question. 
Is that kind of healthiness desirable then?" I asked myself. 
"Is it something to be aimed at?" 

"Certainly," said Freud, but he was not clear. 

"I certainly have my share of troubles," I said, and went 
on to tell him of all my troubles again: not feeling at ease 
with some people, or thinking I was not accepted; my con- 
tinual feeling that people around me had outlooks dif- 
ferent from mine. "So that even among friends," I added, "I 
don't always feel at home. Maybe I make enemies because I 
feel at home among them," I said, attempting a deeper 
analysis. "I don't know. Sometimes I think I may antagonize 
people on purpose. Maybe I like to fight too much." I talked 
on and on in this way, and seemed to reach low depths. 
Afterwards I felt I had drawn a much less favorable picture 



of my relations to my group than I deserved. Freud made 
little comment. I felt baffled again. 

At the end of the hour I shook hands with him. "I hope 
I develop a neurosis/' I said in all sincerity, meaning, I sup- 
pose, that some interesting neurotic material would emerge. 

"Tomorrow again/' he said. 

November 16, 1934 

I described a few dreams with transparent sexual mo- 
tives, and there was a little pause thereafter. I had the 
weary feeling, I said, that the analysis was not progressing 
through some fault of mine, and I sometimes felt confused. 
Freud said: "You are quite right. The analysis is not progress- 
ing. I don't know why. Nothing has turned up: everything is 
so simple. I propose that we try it for another two weeks, 
let's say, and if it is still going badly, let us give it up, and 
you can save the money." 

"I don't know why that should be so," I said. "I am per- 
fectly willing to learn, and I am willing to give everything a 
hearing, even unpleasant things about myself. It is certainly 
strange that a scientist should not be allowed access to a 
body of knowledge because he happens not to have personal 
problems; I know I have a sincere wish to learn something 
about psychoanalysis." 

"But psychoanalysis is different from other sciences," said 
Freud; "there is no other science where the unconscious is 
so important." 

"Perhaps something will turn up in time," I said. "You 
say I am supposedly healthy; are there any really healthy 
people then?" 

"Healthiness is a purely conventional practical concept," 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

he said, "and has no real scientific meaning. It simply means 
that a person gets on well: it doesn't mean that the person is 
particularly worthy. There are 'healthy' people who are not 
worth anything, and on the other hand 'unhealthy' neurotic 
people who are very worthy (wrtvoB) individuals indeed." 

"Does this 'healthiness' correspond to the state of a person 
after a successful analysis?" I asked. 

"It does in a way/' he said. "Analysis enriches the indi- 
vidual but he loses some of his Ego, his Ich. It may not always 
be worth while/' (I am not sure I have recorded this last 
statement correctly.) 

I said it was strange that nothing had come out of my 
analysis so far. Didn't my dreams indicate anything? 

"They are all so simple/' said Freud; "they don't reveal 

"Perhaps I have a simple unconscious/' I suggested. "You 
must realize that I and my friends were brought up partly 
under your influence and I may haye less reason to repress 
things than some of your other patients." 

"It's quite possible/' said Freud. "At any rate, up to now 
I have not been able to tell you anything you didn't know 
yourself." He here quoted Shakespeare to the effect: "to hear 
something you already know will never make you wise" 
or something similar. I did not recognize the quotation, t 

"But there were other problems that did not seem so clear 
to me," I said. "My self-consciousness, for example." 

"That is no great matter," said Freud. "Perhaps it simply 
means that you would like people to have a good opinion 
of you. As you yourself say, it is perfectly natural and usual." 

t Possibly Mark Antony's: 

I only speak right on; 
I tell you that which you yourselves do know. 

Julius Caesar III, 2, 228. 


Freud seemed in a kindly and rather self-effacing mood. 
We came around to discuss some general topics. "Psycho- 
analysis has had such a wide influence, it is perfectly natural 
that I should want to learn more of it," I said. 

"I am not so sure of its influence/' said Freud. "You prob- 
ably are referring to its emphasis on sex/' 

"Not only that/' I said. "The idea of the unconscious too." 

"That doesn't seem to have made much progress in psy- 
chology/' said Freud. I spoke a little more in praise of psycho- 
analysis, but Freud reminded me that at the beginning of the 
analysis I seemed to think differently of it. 

"But that was just so much discussion/' I said. "I don't 
know enough to actually criticize it yet." 

"That may be so/' said Freud. "I tried to change your at- 
titude by criticizing you, but you defended yourself and prob- 
ably were right to do so. At any rate, that doesn't seem to be 
helping your analysis/' he said, returning to our theme. 

I believe he said that I had "character resistance" (Cha- 
rakterwiderstdnde) . That was something new to me, and car- 
ried slightly unpleasant connotations. "I hope we shall be 
able to go on/' I said. 

"We shall see how it goes/' said Freud. 

November 19, 1934 

Another off day. Very little progress was made, but there 
was considerable talk just the same, I said I had moods of 
self-reproach for being so resistant a subject during analysis. 
"Character resistance" suggested something undesirable to 
me, and I was sorry I was so difficult. It is true, Freud re- 
plied, that I was critical of myself and thought frequently 
of myself, as an intelligent conscientious person should do, 
but it was all superficial; in my unconscious I was proud and 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

complacent, and resistant to the analytic procedure in spite 
of my avowed respect for Freud. "A person is made up of 
several parts/' he explained: in some respects I felt inferior 
perhaps, but not in others, and my professions of respect 
were just the familiar counterpart (bekannte Gegenstiick) 
to my real feelings. Freud again began to speak with vehe- 
mence, and I could again think of nothing better to say than 
that I was very sorry I seemed so proud; I did not want to be, 
I recognized it was unpleasant, and it might later make for 
unhappiness. It would certainly be worth-while and helpful, 
I added, to find the cause of this peculiarity and remove it 
I felt depressed and discouraged again when I left. 

November 21, 1934 

Freud's unusually friendly tone continued. I had a rather 
complete and fantastic dream involving my wife and a fish 
chopping machine. "That's what I call a real dream/' said 
Freud with zest and proceeded to an interpretation. He 
thought it related to my feelings toward analysis: the fish, 
meaning me, were being put, so to speak, through the works. 
The fish was a well-known symbol for the penis; it remained to 
be explained though why I was represented by so many male 
organs. For the rest of the hour Freud explained the nature 
of psychoanalytic symbols, following the line of his lecture 
on that subject in his introductory Vorlesungen. He also an- 
swered my questions which, he said, I was fully entitled to 
ask (vollauf berechtigt). The meaning of the symbols was 
found from a study of folklore, philology, dreams and neu- 
roses. The use of symbols in dreams was not a direct form 
of dream distortion, and was not necessarily the work of the 
dream censor. 

"Many dream symbols are inborn and innate/' he went on; 



"they arise spontaneously as a child learns to talk, and many 
children's neuroses are readily explained by a reference to 
their symbolic meaning." 

"Why/ 7 I asked, "do I sometimes dream of the real thing 
and sometimes of the symbol?" 

Freud had no answer for this. "It cannot be explained/* 
he said. "It just happens." The dream, he said, very often 
meant exactly the opposite of what it seemed to say; not only 
that: if the dream were told backwards, it often reveals its 

"How does one know if the dream is correctly inter- 
preted?" I asked. "From the response of the patient?" 

"All interpretations are tentative/' said Freud. "One can- 
not work from a single dream; one must have a series of 
them, and fill them into the general scheme." He led me 
into his adjoining study to show me a sample of an old phal- 
lic bird symbol from his fine collection of ancient bronze 
miniatures and figurines. 

"You see now," he said later, "why it was that I disap- 
proved of your having prejudices concerning dream interpre- 
tations. Not only ought one not to have preconceived ideas, 
but you were too young and inexperienced to venture any 
ideas on that subject at all." 

I thanked Freud for his pains, and the stimulating account 
he had given, and left in some distress, because I did not be- 
lieve in this psychoanalytic theory of dream symbols. Al- 
though I recognized the partial truth of many of Freud's 
observations it still seemed to me that he neglected the fact 
that the thinking process in dreams was basically affected by 
the inefficiency of mental functions under the conditions of 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

November 22, 1934 

My mild moodiness continued; I felt physically in poor 
tone and my mood threw a little shadow over everything. 
I did the best I could in analysis and spoke valiantly on- 
wards to no great purpose, and Freud said very little. I spoke 
much of my young radical friends, and the reception they 
gave me when I first returned to America. I was soon made 
to feel that I was outside their group. "Ah, youth!" exclaimed 
Freud, when the hour ended. 

November 23, 1934 

I ventured to tell Freud today that his view of the inborn 
innate character of dream symbols did not agree with my 
notions of inheritance: I did not know whether one could 
inherit such abstract ideas, especially since they were bound 
up with language, which is an acquired activity: it implied 
the inheritance of acquired characteristics. 

"Of course/' said Freud. "If one didn't believe in inherit- 
ance, there would be a lot we could not explain; all of evo- 
lution would be impossible/' I pointed out that there were 
other possible ways of explaining evolution, that Darwin 
himself did not attach great importance to Lamarckism and 
that most biologists were sceptical of it. 

"But we can't bother with the biologists," he said. "We 
have our own science. (Wir konnen uns um die Biologen 
nicht kiimmern. Wir haben unsere eigene Wiss&nschaft.)" 

"But any science ought not to be inconsistent with an- 
other," I said. 

"We must go our own way," said Freud. 

"Maybe biologists will come to believe in Lamarckism," 


I said. "J. B. S. Haldane admitted to me that it was possible/* 1 
"There, you see/ 7 said Freud "Da sehen Sie" 

November 2 7, 1934 

I dreamed that I was in the gallery of a theatre and 
watched a man in military costume doing tricks with a sword, 
I looked down into the orchestra, thought of the danger of a 
fall, grew frightened and called to my wife for help. I 
awakened. Toward an interpretation, I could only suggest 
that I had been reading in the paper of the danger of war, 
and that a new military patriotic play was to open in a few 
days and was being widely advertised. 

Freud gave me a systematic explanation, but said that at 
the present stage of the analysis he did not expect that I 
would accept it; Sitting in a theatre always meant watching 
coitus; children often see something of the sort and associate 
it, perhaps rightly, with something frightening or with an 
act of aggression: hence the military aspect. The drawing of 
a sword from its sheath was a symbol for the sex act, even 
though the sword was being withdrawn, since dreams often 
showed the opposite of what they mean. Falling is a constant 
symbol for femininity, for giving birth or being born. Hence 
in Austria, niederkommen and in France accoucher meant 
to give birth; one also spoke of a Wurf or a litter of animals. 
Freud also quoted the Homeric Greek phrase for giving 
birth or being bora: "falling between the woman's legs/' I 
think it was. The dream meant I was watching coitus, was 
identifying myself with the female part and was disturbed by 
the feminine elements in myself. 

"No," he said in answer to a question, "the dream is not 
homosexual. If you were homosexual, you would not be dis-- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

turbed by your femininity: it is a type of dream that occurs 
more often among men than among women and more often 
among heterosexual than homosexual men; every man has 
some feminine elements in his nature." I decided afterwards 
to ask Freud whether this statement had been, or could be, 
statistically demonstrated. Furthermore I did not believe I 
had ever witnessed human coitus. 

November 2 8 7 1934 

I suggested to Freud that his views on falling dreams 
might easily be confirmed by statistics. "That is a typical 
American idea/' he said. "You can't study psychology with 
statistics. Falling has other meanings besides femininity; it 
may mean giving birth." He was apparently displeased with 
the suggestion, and though I said another word or two in its 
defense, I soon changed the subject. 

November 29, 1934 

My wife had spoken in her sleep with reference, I 
thought, to some friend of hers whom I did not like. Freud 
said talking in one's sleep came from a wish to communicate 
something, and my wife wished to annoy me. But I knew that 
she sometimes talked when she slept alone, and awakened 
herself. Freud could not explain this, but simply said talking 
in one's sleep was not a common phenomenon. 

I had a dream in which I felt I was going to die from a 
cancer of my face, and interpreted it in accordance with 
what I supposed was psychoanalytic theory, by saying that 
I was feeling injured by the analytic procedure, but Freud 
thought it meant that I wished he would die from his cancer 
(for which he had actually already undergone several opera- 
tions) because of the unpleasant things he said. 



November 30, 1934 

I continued to feel blue. Ellis had written a friendly card 
to me, and mentioned that the poetess H.D. was in town 
and that I ought to meet her. Freud knew her address, but 
I was in no mood to meet strangers; I was usually too shy, 
I told Freud. 

"You should break yourself of that/' he said. 

"Ellis," I said, "would say I ought rather to do as I 
liked/ 7 

"That is another method, too/' said Freud. For the rest, 
he said everybody has his ups and downs. 

I spoke of a few points in neurology that had come up 
during my day's work, concerning the function of the frontal 
lobes, but Freud made no comment. I revived the subject 
of homosexuality, and Freud spoke of his own views: every- 
body had a homosexual component in his nature; most social 
feeling was nothing but sublimated homosexuality. 

"Do you mean that socially good people like Einstein and 
Romain Holland are doing nothing but sublimating their 

"Exactly," said Freud. He was at some pains to explain 
that psychoanalysis was the only school of psychology which 
claimed the universality of homosexual tendencies. 

I commented that Otto Weininger (in 1912, I think) 
brought out the idea in his Geschlecht und Character. 

"He was a friend of mine," said Freud, "but he got the 
idea from analysis and used it in an improper way." 

"It would be interesting to know why the feeling against 
homosexuality is so universal in our time," I asked. 

"It was always so," said Freud, "even in ancient Greece. 
People repress their own homosexuality and if the repression 
is strong enough, they adopt a hostile attitude," 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

December 4, 1934 

We chatted pleasantly on a variety of minor matters today, 
of an interesting case I had seen, of the status of psychoanaly- 
sis in America, etc. I had two or three dreams to tell of, 
but nothing new came out. Freud was extremely pleasant and 
the atmosphere was friendly. Concerning dreams, I asked 
whether eight hours of successive dreaming can all be inter- 
preted according to psychoanalytic theory; the assumption 
so often seemed to be made that a dream was a neatly 
rounded little entity. 

"Why not?" he said. "Dreaming is nothing but a continua- 
tion of waking thought." 

December 5, 1934 

I again had a dream in which the subject of homosexual- 
ity was discussed, but it pointed in no direction, and Freud 
said all one could guess was that the subject was engaging 
my attention. It was, and I asked some questions about it. 
If social feeling is so often sublimated homosexuality, then 
active homosexualists ought to have less social feeling since 
they sublimate less but this was not the case. 

This form of argument did not appeal to Freud, but he 
answered patiently that there were all sorts of degrees and 
types, and no rule held for all. I then proceeded to another 
theoretical question: why did not one say simply that all 
mental activity was directed toward wish-fulfillment, why 
just simply dreams? 

Freud did not like this theoretical expansion at all, and 
said dreams were different essentially, and not only quanti- 
tatively, from waking thoughts. He admitted there were 
transitional states between dream and waking life but said 
the rules only hold for dreams, and dreams only occurred 



in sleep. "Twilight states or delirium have different laws/' 
he said. He then proceeded to criticize me roundly again for 
launching out into abstractions, though I defended myself 
with some confidence, for I did not believe that dreams are 
essentially different from other mental activity. 

"You ought to listen and learn/' he said. "You have been 
receptive to Ellis, now you ought to learn something from 
me. I can't make a psychoanalyst of you in this short time, 
but I can give you the stimulus in that direction/ 7 . 

I soon changed the subject. Perhaps I was simply one of 
those ineffectual theorizers, I said, that Ramon y Cajal, the 
neuroanatomist, had spoken of in a recent book. 

"He is dead, isn't he?" said Freud. 

He had just died. Freud went into his study to find out 
how old he had been; he was eighty-two. Freud was then sev- 
enty-eight. Freud spoke of him and his predecessor, Golgi. 
Obersteiner, the famous Viennese neurologist, whom Freud 
knew, had once demonstrated some old specimens of Golgi's 
and spoken condescendingly of them. 

"Golgi was neglected all his life," said Freud, "though he 
is a recognized name in medical history now." The old hopes 
of the neurological anatomists, he added, were never real- 

"Psychology and physiology are now coming into their 
own," I said. I spoke of an interesting case of hysteria-like 
convulsions in a hypoglycemic patient I had seen. 

"The relation between the physical and mental states: that 
is a field for work in the future!" he said with enthusiasm. 

December 6, 1934 

I had seen an article in an American magazine which 
quoted an answer of Freud's to a question on war. But 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

Freud had never answered such a question, and the article 
was evidently falced or stolen from his writings. 

"That sort of thing happens in America/ 7 I said. 

"It happens often enough here/ 5 said Freud. 

I had one or two dreams of simple content: one praising 
myself and my future, another wishing that I could be alone 
for a while both interpreted according to psychoanalytic 
theory. We discussed a little incident where I had occasion 
to show jealousy, and Freud suggested the possibility of an 
unconscious homosexual jealousy mechanism, such as he had 
elaborated in his writings. 

"Possibly/' I said, but I saw no reason to assume it. Re- 
garding homosexuality as a whole, I quoted Wilhelm Busch: 

Schon isfs vielleicht anderswo 
Dock hier sind wir sowieso. 
(It might be nice some other place 
But here we are in any case.) 

I felt quite satisfied with heterosexuality. I couldn't be 
otherwise, I added, because those were my habits. "That is 
not the only reason/' said Freud. "If you attempted to act 
homosexual, you would find that you had internal psychic 
resistance to it too. You may be able to make a homosexual 
person bisexual in behavior by releasing his heterosexual com- 
ponent, but you cannot so easily make a heterosexual person 
bisexual in the same way, for the resistance is much greater, 
and the inducements far fewer." 

"What, by the way, is the cause of heterosexuality?" I 

Freud gave a brief resume of the psychoanalytic theories 
of the question of object choice (Objektwdhl) 9 and I lis- 



tened attentively. The choice of a male or female as sex 
partner developed in accordance with the castration com- 
plex, and it all involved early family experiences. 

"But suppose a child has no family/ 7 I suggested; "suppose 
the mother dies at childbirth and the father brings up the 
boy; what happens, then?" 

"The boy would then usually become homosexual/' said 

"It would be interesting to investigate such cases/ 7 I said. 

"It is not necessary/' said Freud. "We know how they 
work out without that/' Freud again showed he was not sym- 
pathetic to this kind of approach, and he was again growing 

"If one can assume the inheritance of dream symbols/' I 
said, "why not assume that a heterosexual impulse can be 

"It simply doesn't work that way," said Freud. 

"Are human beings different from animals in that re- 
spect?" I asked. 

"In many respects they are/' said Freud, "but the ani- 
mals rather prove this point: all they are interested in is 
genital satisfaction, and it is simply the convenience of the 
opposite sex for that end that makes them heterosexual." 

I could not follow all this argument in its details, but I 
supposed it was all clearly explained in his writings. Freud 
was not too pleased with my discussion. He mentioned Ellis 
several times, only to praise him for his caution and respect 
for facts. 

"Ellis once told me/' I said, "that the older he got the less 
sure he grew of everything, I am curious to know if you have 
had the same feeling." 

"I am older than Ellis/' said Freud with emphasis, "and 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I can say that the older I get the more sure I grow of every- 
thing. I have had the friendliest relations by letter with 
Ellis for over thirty-five years, but I have always criticized 
him for having made too few decisions (Er macht zu wenig 
Urteile}. And now in his old age it is no wonder that he 
feels uncertain. You have the same fault, and you gave your- 
self away at the beginning of the analysis, by saying you 
^were satisfied to be shrouded in the luminous mist of truth, 
or something like that." 

""That," I said, "was a quotation from Goethe." 

"Well, Goethe had that same fault, and that is the rea- 
'son why a number of his scientific writings have lost their 
value for us." 

"One can't be everything," I said. "I hope something 
worth-while is left in me." 

"Yes," said Freud, "but you ought to know your faults. I 
have my own faults, but nobody can say that I have been lax 
in self-criticism. In this or that detail I've had to change 
my views, and some things which I thought were completely 
true turned out to be partial truths but in essentials I 
have had no reason to change my conclusions. Ellis years ago 
said that we put too much emphasis on early sexual trauma, 
and he was right; now we are more cautious. We also recog- 
nize the importance of constitutional factors, but what they 
are we don't know, whereas we know the psychological mech- 
anisms. School-boys in England, for example, have, most of 
them, homosexual experiences, but they usually get over 
them there must be other factors involved." 

When I spoke of the wish fulfillment theory of dreams, 
Freud said that distortion (Entstellung) was a more regular 
and certain characteristic of dreams than the wish fulfillment 
(Wunscherfullung) . Freud then remarked that constitu- 



tional factors and effeminacy were less striking in male than 
their counterparts in female homosexuals, for the latter were 
especially likely to have masculine mannerisms and attire. 

When I sounded Freud out on the relative importance 
of constitution and of psychogenesis in the development of 
homosexuality he sidestepped the question by saying they 
were inextricably linked together. (Man kann sie nicht 
auseinander halten.) 

The hour ended here, and I left. 

December 7, 1934 

I praised Freud's chapter on infantile sexuality in his in- 
troductory Vorlesungen and said it was strange to read slight- 
ing remarks on him immediately afterwards in Bing's text- 
book of neurology. 

"Who is Bing?" asked Freud with interest, for he had 
never heard of him. 

"It is curious/' I said: "strictly neurological work and psy- 
chological insight are so very different, it was rare to find a 
talent for both in the same man." 

"It is not necessary/' said Freud. "Psychology and neu- 
rology are two separate things/' 

"But it is very important to be able to distinguish between 
organic and psychic disease/* 

"Yes/ 7 he said, "it is important for diagnosis, and not 

"How can a mere psychologist make the diagnosis then, if 
he does not know neurology?" I asked, and gave some ex- 
amples of mistakes of this kind I had seen. 

"After a week of analysis you can usually decide," said 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I reminded Freud of an early French essay of his on the 
relative importance of heredity in the neuroses, and was 
anxious to get his present view on that subject. He was ex- 
tremely evasive. 

"One can't express it in percentages/' he said, and chided 
me again for launching into theory. 

"But this is an eminently practical matter/' I insisted. 
"Everybody is talking of eugenics and heredity and the opin- 
ion of a person of your experience is important. Bauer, for 
example, always puts strong emphasis on heredity in psy- 
chopathic states/' 

"If he has studied the matter, he ought to know/' said 

"You often speak of constitutional factors/' I said. "Do you 
mean inherited or acquired organic conditions?" 

"Both/' he said. "By constitutional I mean everything that 
is not psychological." By this time it was obvious that Freud's 
interest was in psychoanalysis, not eugenics, and I resumed 
my account of myself. 

December 10, 1934 

Nothing of great importance in today's hour. We chatted 
for a few minutes about some mutual acquaintances. Freud 
spoke highly of Schilder. I related a simple sexual dream in 
which a girl engaged in some intimacies with me, and made 
the perhaps mischievous, though psychoanalytically proper, 
attempt to interpret it homosexually. Freud did not admit 
the interpretation, and his contradiction came so promptly 
and easily that I felt the surest way to coax him to say some- 
thing was to say the opposite. I thought there was more than 
a streak of negativism in Freud, as there was more than a 



streak of pessimism, and I began to believe this personal 
quality had found expression in psychoanalytic theory. 

A second dream, about traveling in a lift, I also attempted 
to interpret homosexually, and Freud again said the oppo- 
site: it was a dream about birth, he said, an Oedipus dream. 
So it was, for later in the dream my mother appeared, and 
there was a tender passage. There was some eating in this 
dream too, and eating, said Freud, was a natural symbol for 
one's mother. One of my associations went back to the same 
Schilder we had just discussed. 

"But that/' I said, "was probably a mere coincidence, be- 
cause we were just talking about Schilder/' 

"In analysis," said Freud, "one admits coincidences as 
little as possible/' There was no doubt that psychoanalysis 
proceeded on this principle; it was the denial of the possi- 
bility of coincidence which led Freud to think favorably of 
mental telepathy. 

My mood at this time began to be a combination of scien- 
tific bewilderment, because I could not accept many of 
Freud's conclusions and was essentially out of sympathy with 
his attitude, and personal displeasure, for I did not like the 
idea of being constantly probed for morbid features of my 

December 11, 1934 

I recited a few recent dreams to Freud, the only one of 
consequence being the following: I walk along the street 
and a detective tells me to stop. I walk on heedless. He 
threatens to shoot if I do not stop. I go on, and feel a shot in 
my shoulder. I bind it with a tourniquet and awaken soon 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

The detective reminded me of one from the Missing Per- 
sons Bureau in New York whom I had seen in Bellevue Psy- 
chiatric Hospital checking on patients who had attempted 
suicide. He used to get irritated when a moribund patient 
would be unable to give him the information he wanted. 
My interpretation was: I am threatened, and told unpleasant 
things during analysis, but I don't care and go my own way. 

Freud grew indignant: "An attitude of that sort makes 
further analysis impossible: it is purely emotional/' 

"Naturally," I said, "it is emotional; rationally nothing 
ought to bother me. I don't see why that need interfere with 
the analysis." 

"What about the wound and the bandage? Why were you 
shot in the shoulder?' 7 

"I had to be shot somewhere; why not in the shoulder?" I 
said. "Perhaps I was lying on my shoulder, or had my hand 
on my wife's shoulder during sleep, as I often do. I don't 
know if that is significant." 

"Everything is/' said Freud. 

"Maybe/' I said, "but if I begin to associate with all the 
infinite other things in the dream: the street I was on, the 
clothes I wore etc., I might put emphasis on the wrong spot." 

Freud was irritated. "But you didn't mention these other 
things." As a matter- of fact I did mention that it took place 
near my house. "We have to follow up the things you men- 
tion; the second part of the dream is still unexplained, but 
you can go on with other things, if you like." I picked up the 
discussion of homosexuality. I said that his statement that 
he found all his subjects in analysis more or less bisexual 
was a great revelation to me, if it was true, and I was as- 
suming it was. For people like myself, who generally did not 
see the necessity for repressing their impulses, it ought to 



follow that we ought to become bisexual in our activities; 
indeed it might seem desirable to urge reform in that direc- 

Freud disagreed: "It would make life too complex/* he 
said. "It would be impractical You cannot give your 
impulses free hand. You have to keep them in control, not 
repress them; keeping oneself in control does not lead to 
neuroses, at worst merely to discontent/' 

"But why control an impulse that does nobody any harm, 
and which leads to a purely private relation between two 
parties? 77 

"It would never do," said Freud. "How could you preserve 
discipline in an army, for example, if the officers kept falling 
in love with the soldiers and with each other?" 

"But is there any scientific justification for interfering 
with such private affairs?" I asked. I mentioned that in Rus- 
sia, for example, the laws against homosexuality were being 
revived. I did not know why, but I supposed that homosexu- 
ality began to increase when it was openly tolerated. 

"No doubt," said Freud. 

"But is there any scientific justification for such laws?" I 

"Science has nothing to do with laws," said Freud. "They 
are purely practical expedients. Homosexuality was found to 
be undesirable." 

"The same argument about the difficulty of discipline is 
applied against coeducation in the schools in America," I 

"But in children it is not so important, up to the age of 
twelve or thirteen their sexuality is only latent and does not 
produce such complications." 

"But how about coeducation in colleges?" I asked. 


Fragments of an Analysis 'with Freud 

"There you see all the complex results/' said Freud. 'The 
young men fall in love with the young girls and often marry 
them, and in America the girls are usually much more ma- 
ture than the men at that early age, lead them around by the 
nose, make fools of them, and that is why you get your 
Frauenherrschaft, your rule of women, in America. That is 
one main reason why you have the sort of culture you have 
in America, and so many other things. American women are 
an anticultural phenomenon (eine kulturwidrige Erschei- 
nung). They have nothing but their pride to make up for 
their sense of uselessness. That is why marriages are so un- 
successful in America, that is why your divorce rate is so 
high. American men don't know how to make love. You are 
an exception, but the average American has no experience 
at all. You couldn't expect to step up to an orchestra and 
play first fiddle without some training, but American men 
step into marriage without the least experience for so com- 
plicated a business. In Europe, things are different: men 
take the lead and that is as it should be." 

"But don't you think it would be best if both partners 
were equal?" I asked. 

"That is a practical impossibility," Freud replied. "There 
must be inequality, and the superiority of the man is the 
lesser of two evils. Though the American woman is an an- 
ticultural phenomenon/' Freud repeated, "she has her good 
points too that one must admire: she hasn't the European 
woman's constant fear of seduction, for example but she has 
plenty of other faults. She is discontented, too." He gave 
what was no doubt meant to be a typical example of an 
American woman who came to Vienna and ordered a fur 
coat and then refused to buy it, in spite of the entreaties of 
the poor shop-keeper. 


That seemed to me to be a rather extreme type of Ameri- 
can woman but I said nothing further on the matter. 

"It is all very confusing to a young man/' I said on leav- 

December 12, 1934 

A sex dream of my wife was interpreted easily. A sec- 
ond dream was concerned with baggage and parcels: Ellis 
and I were sending a present to Freud. Since baggage and 
parcels were supposed to be female symbols, I ventured to 
say I simply wished to have some females, but Freud thought 
my interpretation was much too superficial. I also suggested 
the possibility that these parcels represented elements of my 
femininity, but Freud thought I was being facetious and 
rejected these interpretations at once. 

"What put that into your head?" he asked. 

"It was just a possibility I thought worth mentioning/' I 

"This is no occasion for it," said Freud. 

It appeared finally that the present was a symbol for 
a child. "As the saying goes/' Freud explained, "one pre- 
sents one's wife with a child." The dream, then, meant that 
I wished a child. . . . 

I went on to speak of other things and with an eye to the 
special interests of my fellowship, picked up the thread of 
yesterday's conversation. I saw no good reason, I repeated, 
why one ought to refrain from bisexual practices if everyone 
tad bisexual impulses. 

"Normal people have a certain homosexual component," 
said Freud, "and a very strong heterosexual component. The 
homosexual component should be sublimated as it now gen- 
erally is in society; it is one of the most valuable human as- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

sets, and should be put to social uses. One cannot give one's 
impulses free rein. Your attitude reminds me of a child who 
just discovered that everybody defecates and who then de- 
mands that everybody ought to defecate in public; that can- 
not be. There are plenty of other impulses (Triebe) that 
we have but cannot satisfy; there is, for example, the aggres- 
sive or destructive impulse, which would be disastrous if it 
were not controlled. . . ." 

"But that is an obviously harmful impulse," I said. 

"Not at all," said Freud, missing my ppint, "if properly 
used it is absolutely invaluable and necessarjHo society. Our 
entire government, our bureaucracies, our official life, all op- 
erate on the basis of homosexual impulses, which are of 
course unconscious and not manifest; but there would be 
havoc if they were to become manifest. You cannot be a good 
teacher, for example, unless you have a certain amount of 
homosexual drive, which you sublimate into sympathetic 
interest for your pupils; but if the impulse were to become 
manifest, the effect would be exactly opposite. Bisexuality 
would not work, as they have perhaps already learned in 
Russia. Even in Greece it was discouraged/' 

"Perhaps/ 7 I suggested, "because of threatened race sui- 

"They did not think of such things in ancient Greece/' 
said Freud. "To use an analogy, a man cannot keep both a 
wife and a mistress in luxury unless he is very rich; one of 
them will suffer from neglect. Heterosexuality is quite ade- 
quate for one's personal needs." 

I was contented and busy reading psychoanalytic litera- 
ture, I said; perhaps too much at a time, for I was some- 
times perplexed. On the whole, I commented, it had a cer- 
tain pessimistic influence. 



"That ought not to be," said Freud. 

There were so many ways of going wrong, I said, it 
seemed a wonder that anybody stayed normal. 

'That reminds me of the Jew who visited a hospital/' 
said Freud, "and said afterwards it was a terrible world: so 
many people sick (so viele Krarike] and only one healthy." 

I was offended. "But it is only today that I feel halfway 
good/ 7 I said apologetically; "it is not always so/ 7 I went on 
to speak of Freud's earlier reference to my conceit, and said 
it may be that it was a fault in me, although I was just as 
often accused of excessive modesty. 

"When?" asked Freud. 

I told him, and spoke on, but all this was obviously super- 
ficial to a psychoanalyst and I soon broke off, not without 
saying, however, that such superficialities are sometimes 
more important for some people than their unconscious con- 
flicts. "In any case/' I said, "there must be differences in the 
relative importance of the Ego-development and the uncon- 
scious in different people." Freud agreed. 

December 13, 1934 

I dreamed that I was told that Dr. Schilder was once in- 
sane for a short period of a month or two, years ago, and re- 
covered completely. "Did he show his latent homosexuality 
then?" I asked in the dream. "Yes," said my informant 

In a second later dream I was seated in the subway and 
saw an elderly scrawny-looking man with a thin beard sit- 
ting opposite, peering through a mask. I saw him in a double 
image as I watched him, then in four images, then in seven 
or eight images in a row, each face behind a different mask 
smiling, frowning, thick and thin. I laughed in my sleep 
and awakened my wife. That was why I recalled the dream. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

The occasion for the first dream was an article on a case 
of periodic schizophrenia, with complete recovery, that I had 
read about in a German scientific journal that afternoon. 

In connection with the dream I reflected that a latent 
homosexuality would show itself in a psychosis. Schilder 
had a very high voice. 

Freud made an interpretation of the first dream, which 
did not sound convincing to me. 

"Why not simply say that it showed an anxiety that I 
would show homosexual traits if ever I became psychotic." 

"That is your idea/' said Freud. "It would be nothing 
new. You knew that before. I was telling you something 
you didn't know before because it was unconscious. You still 
haven't learned the meaning of 'unconscious/ " 

When in the course of interpreting the second dream I 
said I had no illuminating associations, Freud said, "You 
ought simply to give your associations and not evaluate 
them. You seem to have no faith in the method of free associ- 

I gave whatever additional associations I could, and had 
occasion to recall all the people I had known with beards, 
many of whom were or had been among my heroes: such as 
Shaw, Ellis, Stanley Hall, and Malliol, the French sculptor. 

"Who is he?" asked Freud. 

I told him, but Freud had never heard of him. 

"Why was it a thin beard?" asked Freud. 

I did not know, except perhaps that I was once told that 
Ellis's beard was thinner than it used to be. Freud thereupon 
concluded that the dream, according to the psychoanalytic 
rule that all dreams in the same night pertain to the same 
subject, was concerned with the same theme as the first 
dream, but was its contrary (Gegenstiick) , as frequently hap- 



pens, and was an affirmation of my prowess. The multiplica- 
tion of bearded persons was the series of famous people 
whom I used to honor, but now mocked because they were 
growing scrawny and old. 

Since I did not feel in the least that way about them, 
least of all concerning Ellis, I replied that it was at best only 
part of the truth. 

Freud was again impatient "The trouble is that you prob- 
ably don't even believe in the unconscious: you still expect 
to find an agreement between a dream interpretation and 
your conscious thoughts/ 7 

I replied that I did believe that we had drives and im- 
pulses that did not come to consciousness, but I didn't know 
exactly what the "unconscious" was like. I expected that a 
psychoanalytic revelation of the unconscious would be spon- 
taneously enlightening to the patient. How was one to know 
if the revelation was correct or not? This last revelation was 
not illuminating. How could the analyst be sure that his 
interpretation was correct? 

"From the reaction of the patient," said Freud. 

"How does the patient react when it is wrong?" I asked. 

"He usually says nothing," said Freud, "because it doesn't 
concern him." 

"But I am accustomed to respond to things that are said 
to me; it is only polite," I said. 

"Politeness doesn't enter into analysis," said Freud. 

"It is a habit with me," I insisted. "Perhaps," I added, "I 
have the wrong idea of the unconscious." 

"To be sure," said Freud, "but what you have said has 
given you away." 

I told Freud a little more of the interesting case report of 
periodic schizophrenia, with 176 psychotic attacks in twenty 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

years, that I had been reading. The case happened to be as- 
sociated with periodically increased urinary output and had 
other signs suggesting diabetes insipidus; later I spoke of the 
importance of carbohydrate metabolism in psychiatry, and 
gave some illustrative cases. Freud was obviously much inter- 
ested, and said that was all important. 

December 14, 1934 

I returned the little Goethe anthology I had borrowed and 
said I did not think it an especially typical selection. Goethe, 
like the Bible, I said, could be quoted to any purpose. Freud 
agreed. I liked Goethe and read him with fresh interest al- 
ways, I said. It was just a coincidence that I always happen 
to like famous men, but there was a certain sedate middle- 
class quality in Goethe which sometimes suggested some in- 
adequacies. In psychoanalytic literature, too, one was often 
reminded of its bourgeois associations. So many of its obser- 
vations came from middle-class family relations, one wondered 
how far they would still be true when this particular type of 
family disappeared. And Freud seemed to me on the whole 
surprisingly conservative in his morality. All this about the 
necessity for restraint and sublimation might very well have 
come from a Kircheribruder, a religious moralist. In spite of 
his revolutionary scientific views, Freud's general outlook did 
not seem particularly revolutionary. 

Freud agreed. "Where would we be without conventions?" 
he asked. "The old views and maxims had their good reasons. 
They weren't just grabbed out of the air. Of course, there 
were extremes in former days; now there are other extremes/' 
"Still," I said, "I am not altogether sure I understand this 
business of sublimation." Freud seemed willing to discuss it 

IO 4 


"I had once imagined/' I said, "that if psychoanalysis re- 
vealed the wishes and deep impulses of people, the way would 
be clear for their gratification. But that doesn't seem to be 
the case. It still isn't clear to me why you think it is bad to 
be bisexual in practice, when one is bisexual by instinct. I 
still can't see why sublimation is so necessary/' 

"That depends on the amount of libido a person has avail- 
able. Some have a lot, others have a little; it is a purely quanti- 
tative matter," said Freud. 

"Look at Solomon," I said. "He had three hundred wives 
and he is reported not only to have been wise, but good. 
What was the use of sublimation? Married people didn't sub- 
limate either." I didn't see that they were any the worse for 

"That is heterosexuality that you are speaking of," said 
Freud. "Solomon's activities were heterosexual I don't see 
where he comes in. We were discussing the sublimation of 

"I don't understand that either. What is sublimation?" I 
asked. "Is it conscious or unconscious?" 

"Everything is unconscious," said Freud. 

"But now that psychoanalysis is supposed to have revealed 
my bisexual nature, does it mean that my unconscious wish 
becomes conscious now? That doesn't seem to happen, for I 
still have not the slightest wish to engage in homosexual prac- 
tice. Does that mean that I have repressed the wish again?" 

"No," said Freud, "the fact that a tendency has been re- 
vealed to you doesn't mean that it has to become a conscious 
wish. On the contrary, its force is weakened. It has less influ- 
ence on you than before. You can handle it better, and are no 
longer at its mercy." 

I went back to the other point "From what I have ob- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

served/ 7 I said, "it seems to be precisely the people wlio give 
their impulses free play who become kindest and best- 
humored. It is the people who restrain themselves too much 
who become sour and embittered; it seems to me it is the un- 
happy people who are most dangerous/ 7 

"That is a valid suggestion/' said Freud. "That is true, too. 
It all depends on the degree and quality. Everything in its 
proper measure. They seem to have discovered that in Russia 
too. At first everything was going to be free and unrestrained, 
but they found that it -didn't work. An analyst by the name of 
Wilhelm Reich went to Russia and lectured there, and talked 
so much about promiscuity that they finally invited him to 

"The younger generation now seems to be rather more pu- 
ritanical than we were ten years ago/' I said. 

"The pendulum always goes back and forth/' Freud said. 
"Now for example the proletariat is coming into its own. It 
was suppressed and wronged so long; now it claims its rights 
and goes about suppressing and wronging the other classes. 
All Russia is held together by this class hatred against the 
other classes and against foreigners. And yet they have classes 
in Russia too. They have their privileged officials who enjoy 
all sorts of things that the workers haven't got. Go there and 
see for yourself. They call that progress! They don't know 
they have gone back thousands of years. In the old days 
everybody had to live together in huts, as they do now in a 
single room in Russia. Nobody can enjoy the luxury of a pri- 
vate room. What does that mean? It means the end of intel- 
lectual work. It's simply going back to barbarism." 

"But that may all be temporary," I suggested. 

"Of course it is temporary," said Freud misunderstanding 
what I meant; "next thing will be the opposite, and the other 



classes will get the upper hand. But what is the good of tell- 
ing that to young people: they don't see all that/' 

I tried to put in a. good word for socialism and for youth. 
"We have to have some kind of ends and ideals/ 7 I said, "or 
we would never move forward. The present state of affairs is 
intolerable/ 7 

"There is plenty to improve/ 7 admitted Freud. "I have 
nothing against that. ... In Italy, for example," he went on 
to say, "the matches the government produces are very bad 
you can use three of them before you get a light. That is 
what happens when the government goes into business. 
Everything run by the government is bad. In Austria there is 
a government tobacco monopoly, and the tobacco is bad. In 
Holland, on the other hand, where tobacco is unrestricted and 
plentiful the Dutch don't smoke much there is plenty of 
fine tobacco. In fact, in former years, I often thought of emi- 
grating to Holland. In Hamburg too, where I have often been^ 
the tobacco is excellent/ 7 

"Yet the government seems to do a tolerably good job witH 
the post office, in America anyway, 77 I said. 

"Maybe, 77 said Freud; "but I assure you a private concern 
would do no worse. People don't know what they want. Look 
at Italy: for sixty or seventy years it struggled for unification. 
How? It tried to unite all the Italian provinces and to elimi- 
nate all the foreign ones; Austrians were driven out and were 
"kept beyond the borders. And then what happened? As soon 
as little Italy waged its first successful war and started becom- 
ing a world power, it incorporated a purely Austrian province 
in its borders, exactly the opposite of what it had done be- 
fore. Ordinarily, one would say that all borders are gradual; 
no matter what country occupies a border territory, there is 
always a discontented minority from the neighboring country 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

left over, because ethnological boundaries can never corre- 
spond exactly with national territories. Italy was the one ex- 
ception: the difference between Italy and Austria was 
knife-sharp. One could stand on a hill, as I often did, and see 
the Austrian houses on one side of the border and the Italian 
huts on the other. That didn't matter a bit, and the Tyrol 
now belongs to Italy. . . ." 

"Don't you think there's a lot of admirable idealism behind 
the Russian revolution? 7 ' I asked. 

"Of course/' he said, "but it's an empty idealism, it's based 
on vacant abstractions the same sort of thing that I criticize 
in your scientific views; it's not sound enough. They have a 
government of officials (Beamte) and we have a government 
of officials here too; that's why everything is done so poorly. 
A person must have some incentive to work well. They can't 
expect a country to survive on empty idealism. A man wants- 
to get something for his work." 

"To be sure," I said, "but it need not necessarily be 
money. Scientists, for example, seem to be often willing to 
work hard and make sacrifices for mere honor and glory. I 
see plenty of hard working people among underpaid doctors/' 

"That is different," said Freud. "People who study medi- 
cine have a thirst for knowledge (Wissensdrang); that is 
something special" 

"Don't you think it possible for a factory worker to work 
for mere praise and self-satisfaction and distinction," I asked. 

"I don't think so/' said Freud. "Ich glaube es nicht. To 
close, I will tell you a little anecdote: Itzig was a little Jew 
who joined the army, but he didn't get on. He used to stand 
around and neglect his work. The powder got wet, the cannon 
grew rusty, and Itzig never appeared on time. He was lazy, 
but the officers knew that he was intelligent. One of them, 



finally had a talk with him. Itzig/ he said, 'the army is no 
place for you. You will never get on and we all see why. Fll 
give you a piece of advice: go buy yourself a cannon and go 
into business for yourself! 7 " With that, the hour ended. 

"Wir werden sehen we shall see/ 7 1 said when I went out, 
and Freud chuckled. 

December 17, 1934 

I had been reading something of Adolf Meyer's, and com- 
mented that he wrote a difficult German. 

"You write admirably well/' I told Freud, "and I often 
wonder what the origins of your style were. What were the 

"Conscious or unconscious, do you mean?" asked Freud. 

"I mean, what authors whom you admired influenced your 
style. I sometimes seem to detect Goethe's manner." 

"My conscious and deliberate model was Lessing/' said 

"It is not an altogether typically German style either," I 
said. "It has none of the awkward involutions one finds so 
often in German writers; its lucidity is more typically 
French. I thought it showed some French influences too." 

"Very possibly," said Freud. 

I recited two dreams I had, both concerned with women 
acquaintances, one a friend of my wife's, another apparently 
a symbol for my mother. I then resumed my talk, in the old 
manner, of various experiences, feelings, Self-reproaches I 
sometimes had, though nothing essentially new was brought 
out. "I often wonder if I am really conceited and if so why/' 
I said. 

"If you were analyzed long enough, that would all become 
clear to you/' said Freud. 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

"One could, of course, simply accept oneself as one is, with- 
out understanding, and live accordingly/ 7 I suggested; "but 
perhaps all talk of this sort is superficial and superfluous/' 

"As material, it is all valuable/ 7 said Freud. 

December 18, 1934 

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity of visiting the 
Potzl Clinik and seeing SakeFs treatment of schizophrenics 
with insulin, one of the most remarkable things I had ever 
seen. I spoke of it to Freud with great enthusiasm, and Freud 
was much interested. I said incidentally that it was now the- 
oretically possible to produce a paranoia in the course of a 
morning with insulin and stop it in a few minutes with sugar, 
which seemed to disprove the psychoanalytic explanation of 
its etiology. Freud argued back with the greatest energy: it 
did nothing of the sort; psychoanalysis never claimed that 
there were no organic factors in paranoia, it simply indicated 
the psychic mechanisms behind it. A mere organic explanation 
would explain nothing, any more than you could explain why 
one drunk became manic and another remained quiet. 

"All that is true/' I said, "but since it is a doctor's business 
to cure his patients, it seems to me that the organic approach 
to the treatment of the major psychoses is the fruitful one/' 

"But analysis never undertook to cure organic cases/' said 
Freud. I said that in New York one often saw purely organic 
cases that had been treated in vain for a long time by psy- 
choanalysts, at great expense to the patients. Even epileptics 
are sometimes so treated. 

"What your American crooks 99 Freud used the English 
word "do is certainly not representative or typical of the 
science of psychoanalysis/' said Freud. "Analysis never 
claimed a prerogative over organic forms of treatment, if 


such a treatment Is more successful; it simply assists it or 
clarifies it. An analyst would not undertake to cure a case of 
general paresis, even though he may contribute much toward 
its understanding. Your observations at the clinic, on the con- 
trary, confirm the psychoanalytic point of view, for it shows 
that schizophrenia is functional and not fundamentally or- 
ganic." Freud obviously meant organic in the anatomical mor- 
phological sense. "It is in line with the fact that schizophren- 
ics sometimes clear up for a little while after long years of 
severe insanity, to relapse again soon after. 77 

I also said one observed stages of hypoglycemia in which 
the patients simply seemed neurotic, and were especially re- 
sponsive to psychological influence: that also seemed to sug- 
gest an organic basis for some neuroses too. Freud listened, 
but not altogether approvingly, I think. "It was interesting 
and surprising/' I said, "to read in your article on psychoa- 
nalysis in the Encyclopaedia Britannica that you make really 
modest claims for the therapeutic results of analysis/ 7 

"My claims weren't so modest at that," said Freud. "I sim- 
ply said analysis is not everything. There are other factors, 
the dynamic factors, what we call libido, which is the drive 
behind every neurosis; psychoanalysis cannot influence that 
because it has an organic background. You very properly say 
that it is the biochemists 7 task to find out what this is, and 
we can expect that this organic part will be uncovered in the 
future/ 7 

I said he only claimed success with the "milder neuroses/' 
but Freud made it clear that he included psychoses among 
the severe neuroses. "Though/ 7 he added, "analysis has not 
been very successful with the other severe neuroses either. So 
long as the organic functions remain inaccessible, analysis 
leaves much to be desired (Idsst viel zu wiinschen iibrig)" 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I went on to recite a dream I had in which the Sakel insu- 
lin shock method of treatment seemed to be a failure. 'This 
is the opposite of what I really wish/' I said, "and seems to 
refute the theory of wish-fulfillment in dreams/ 7 

Freud argued back energetically again. "It does nothing of 
the sort/' he said. 'That is one of the apparent negatives of 
wishes which I have already explained and settled long ago." 

"That was probably in your book on dreams, which I 
haven't read for years/' I said. 

"You probably have never read it/' said Freud, but added, 
"If you have read it, you haven't understood it." He then 
gave the example of his lawyer friend's dream as it is de- 
scribed in his book. With the help of one or two associations, 
he then interpreted my dream: what I really wished was that 
Freud would fail in his method, and since only one of the 
cases in the dream was cured, that meant I was cured, or in 
other words successful The dream was thus a competition 
dream with Freud in which I won. But when I recalled that 
in the dream it was I who failed, Freud said I simply identified 
myself with him. 

"Perhaps," I suggested, "I wished the physical method 
would fail, so that I could be more devoted to psychoanalysis." 

"Perhaps," said Freud. His explanation did not sound par- 
ticularly convincing. 

At about this time I heard from Ellis again: 



Wivelsfield Green 
December 16, 1934 

I have been meaning to write before in reference to your 
interesting letter and enclosure. But, as usual, there is always 
a whirl of things to attend to. 

But I am pleased to hear the Freud analysis has been going 
well, even though you will be glad to reach the end of it. Not 
surprising that it has yielded no new revelation of yourself, 
and you can hardly have expected that it would. But it must 
certainly yield a revelation of Freud and his technique, and 
that is what you want, and it will enable you to speak with 
first hand knowledge of psychoanalysis. . . , 

No more now, except the best Xmas greetings to both of 
you from Frangoise and 


December 20, 1934 

Today Freud was in a very good mood indeed. I com- 
menced by saying that I dreamed I was on a skiing trip with 
my wife. 

"Are you planning to go skiing for the holidays?" asked 
Freud, and wanted to know when and where we planned to 
go. I told of my dream, said there was a peak in the distance, 
where the snow gave way and slipped, and I interpreted the 
entire dream as showing a contrast between danger and 
peace: danger in the distance and peace with my wife, or, 
perhaps fancifully, annoyance with the analysis but inner 
peace and love anyway. That seemed to be the only way in 
which I could combine both elements. Freud accepted that in- 
terpretation, on the basis of my associations, and I went on to 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

say that corresponded with my feelings toward him: he 
wasn't treating me particularly nicely, I felt, but it was per- 
haps my fault, and in any case, I ought not to judge him by 
his behavior toward me. I respected him highly as a scientist 
whatever his personal behavior was like, and moreover his 
personal behavior was probably very different with other peo- 
ple. I think Freud rather approved of this attitude. Freud 
then made it clear to me that he was not interested in criti- 
cizing me, or changing me, or passing judgment on me. He 
wanted to teach me and remove impediments which stood in 
the way of instruction. 

"I do the best I can, but I always half expect you will 
throw me out; in fact I don't know why you keep teaching 
me if you find me so unteachable. Are you afraid of insulting 
me, or do you do it out of regard for Ellis?'' 

"That is one reason/' said Freud, "and what is more, I 
don't like to give up something I have started. But you must 
learn to absorb things and not argue back. You must change 
that habit." 

"I thought that to understand, is to pardon tout com- 
prendre est tout pardonner" I replied. 

"This isn't a question of pardoning," he said. "It is just a 
question of getting on. Anyway, I am not so sure that maxim 
is correct. My son once undertook to criticize a German aris- 
tocrat for being rude to a lady. 'Sir,' the nobleman said, 'do 
you realize that I am Count von Bismarck?' That is an ex- 
planation/ my son said to him, 'but no excuse/ " 

"What am I to do then?" I asked, "not tell you what I 

"Accept things that are told you, consider them, and digest 
them. .That is the only way to learn. It is a question of le 
prendre ou le laisser take it or leave it. The trouble with a 



Lehrandyse a didactic analysis is that it is difficult to give 
convincing demonstrations, because there are no symptoms to 
guide you/' 

"Why am I such a difficult subject?" 

"I told you once before, it is your narcissism, your unwill- 
ingness to accept facts that are unpleasant." 

"That doesn't sound convincing/' I said, "because I have 
up to now heard nothing about myself which was intolerably 
unpleasant/ 7 So we talked on, and I finally said I would be 
very glad to give up my narcissistic conceit. 

"That would be altogether desirable (erfreulich)" said 

Adolf Meyer wrote: 

December 6, 1934 

Many thanks for your interesting and appreciated letter 
that arrived yesterday. 

Do not let yourself be misled by the natural concentration 
and limitation Professor Freud puts on himself. It is a mix- 
ture of temperament and wisdom and fate, which had best be 
accepted so that it gets its fullest expression. I sometimes 
envy that capacity; at any rate I see its great force. Actually 
I am able to put myself in the position of the varieties of 
personalities and movements without any sense of resentment, 
although one regrets at times the lack of reciprocity. I should 
give a great deal to have or to have had your opportunity so 
as to be in a position to be thoroughly fair toward a force 
that crystallized some of the most fateful meanderings per- 


Fragments of an Analysis 'with Freud 

haps too fatefully. I understand your dilemma, but trust that 
you can get a most interesting sense of the principles in pure 
culture -without loss to your ultimate digestion of it all. . . . 

Sincerely yours, 

December 21, 1934 

My good spirits continued, "though I have no very good 
reason/' I told Freud; it was quite irrational. 

"It's normal/' said Freud. 

"Then the normal is unusual/ 7 I said. "Why?" I asked, 
"does psychoanalysis spend so very much time on unpleasant 
symptoms; in fact, why call only unpleasant reactions 'symp- 
toms?' One is full of all kinds of symptoms which are pleas- 
ant/ 7 Why did Freud say it was .a difficulty of the Lehrana- 
lyse, that one could not be guided by the patient's symptoms? 

"Pleasant symptoms have not as much force (Triebkraft) 
behind them/' said Freud aptly. 

I recited two dreams in one of which I kissed a girl and 
chose her for my wife; in the other I showed my bravery in 
fighting a fire and in saving people. Both dreams, I suggested, 
were self-complacent and showed my prowess in love and life: 
they suggested our discussion yesterday of my "narcissism." 

Freud found the interpretation satisfactory. I did not know 
what to talk of thereafter, and resumed our earlier discussion 
about psychoanalysis: it was not quite fair to refute my crit- 
icism by calling it emotional, even though I was prepared to 
admit an element of emotional resistance. This made things 
too comfortable for psychoanalysis. One might just as easily 
say the psychoanalyst refused to recognize just criticism for 
similar emotional reasons. That was no argument, but rather 
the preparation for an argument; one required more evidence. 



Why, for example, was I willing to admit the existence of an 
unconscious and not the universal validity of the wish theory 
of dreams? 

"We would no doubt learn why in time/' said Freud con- 
siderately. "You must acquire more experience too/' he 

I went on to discuss my narcissism. "Why do you call it 
'enviable 7 and at the same time try to squelch it?" I asked. 
"If it is enviable, then it ought to be desirable/' 

Freud was at pains to explain he did not mean it in any 
praiseworthy sense. It was just like saying of somebody, "I 
wish I liked myself every Sunday as much as he does himself 
every day/' 

"Moreover/' I went on, "I don't see that a degree of self- 
satisfaction is a disadvantage; it simply means one does not 
waste time with self-reproach, but goes on with one's work. It 
seems to me, on the contrary, that one becomes kinder and 
more helpful to others as a result. Sometimes in the course of 
this analysis I have become so remorseful, self-reproachful 
and self-concerned that I was no good for anything/' Any- 
way, I went on to say, I had already heard Freud criticize so 
many people in such severe terms, that I would hate to be in- 
cluded in that group. 

"Who, for example?" asked Freud. 

There was Stekel, for instance, I suggested. "You called 
him such names that I was terrified; and there was Hirsch- 
feld, whom you called perverse and obnoxious einen ekel- 
haften Kerl" Freud objected to this and said he had said 
nothing of the kind (he had), that I did not remember what 
he said, and that it would be very painful to him if I re- 
peated anything of the sort to anybody. Hirschfeld was an 
admitted homosexual, but Freud's relations to him were quite 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

polite. He came to his house once, and strictly on a profes- 
sional plane. Freud had simply said he was not receptive. For 
the rest, he was not particularly charming, as I would myself 
no doubt admit, and his homosexuality was not particularly 
appetizing (appetitlich) . 

"I am surprised/' I said, "that you find homosexuality in 
itself repulsive." 

"By no means," said Freud, "there are many homosexuals 
who are very fine people indeed." But as for Stekel, he went 
on, he knew him and worked with him for ten years, and 
knew what he was saying. We continued in this strain for a 
little while. It all reminded me, at any rate, of his critical at- 
titude toward me. 

"Your case is altogether different," said Freud, though I 
cannot say I found the remark consoling. 

"At any rate you see/' I said, "that the positive transfer- 
ence makes me wish you to have a good opinion of me." My 
good spirits were by this time gone. 

December 24, 1934 

On December 21, 1934 Ellis wrote, evidently in response 
to my account of the theoretical discussions of sex theory I 
had been having with Freud: 


. . . The existence of early homosexual traits, or of an un- 
differentiated sexual attitude, dates from long before Freud, 
and the existence of very minor physical signs of the oppo- 
site sex (like the masculine nipples) makes it fairly obvious 
that there should be corresponding very minor psychic signs. 
I can trace them in myself in early life, although, from an 



equally early period, and all along, I am intensely heterosex- 
ual. There is no universal repression of homosexuality, con- 
spicuously as it exists in Christendom. Nor is such repression 
required for a distaste to homosexuality. The homosexual com- 
ponent is so small, compared to the large heterosexual compo- 
nent, and so opposed to it, that nothing could, in the general 
rule, prevent the distaste arising. The circumstances in Greece 
were exceptional, but even there we find no distaste for mar- 
riage with a procreative object; the Greeks were thus largely 
bisexual. To say that the Greeks viewed homosexuality with 
disfavor is absurd. It is the reverse of fact! They glorified it 
It was a recognized institution and the chief method of edu- 
cation, though not brought forward until after puberty. See 
the standard work on the subject, Hans Lichfs Sexual Life in 
Ancient Greece. (I have never been able to find out the exact 
title of the German original; I have the translation.) It is a 
fascinating book. 

Yours ever, 

When I met with Freud I told him of two simple dreams 
of intimacies with two girl acquaintances, and of a third 
dream in which I lent a certain Spanish man I knew a sum 
of money and did not get it back. This man had actually 
asked me to help him with a business letter to his bank in 
America, but the real occasion for the dream had been a let- 
ter from my brother asking for a loan. I had already lent him 
money, but had not got it back. I had lent another consider- 
able sum to a friend in England, and to my disappointment 
had not got it back either, so that I was in some little money 
difficulties of my own. It was difficult to see how the dream 
was a wish-fulfillment; it seemed on the contrary to corre- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

spond perfectly with my waking thoughts and seemed a mere 
expression of regret; nor could I see any connection between 
this dream and the others, though Freud reminded me that it 
was a rule that dreams occurring in a single night must be re- 
lated to each other. I did what associating I could, but noth- 
ing came out. If I continued associating long enough, I told 
Freud, no doubt something would turn up which could be ap- 
propriately used. Freud said it was inadvisable to force an in- 
terpretation, and that I had best talk on. With due apologies, 
I resumed the discussion of my attitude. I refused to concede 
that I was rejecting parts of the analysis merely for reasons 
of personal pride, My "narcissism" did not seem to be a gen- 
eral phenomenon: I stood in real awe of Ellis, for example, 
and trembled in his presence. 

"Moreover, I do not have the impression," I said, "that 
you were especially modest in your youth either." 

"Who, I?" asked Freud. "I had the greatest respect for the 
authorities of my day until I studied things for myself, and 
came to my own conclusions." 

"If youth did not have a certain disrespect for authority, 
there would be little progress in the world," I said. 

"To be sure," said Freud, "but everything in measure." 

I said I didn't think I felt superior to Freud; I simply pre- 
ferred to be sceptical of some of his statements, awaiting 
proof. I did not generally stand in awe of a name simply be- 
cause it was famous, but tried to judge for myself. As a mat- 
ter of fact, I thought Freud was in some ways keener then 
Ellis, and more inclined to pursue a subject ruthlessly to a 
conclusion, but, I added, Ellis had a wisdom which was very 
profound which covered more of nature. He was a perfect 
type of man. 

"To be sure," said Freud, "he is the type of the man of 



culture not really the scientific man (der Forschertypus)" 

Ellis had written of Rank, I said- what did Freud think of 
him? Freud seemed at first unwilling to answer, then said, 
"Rank was, so to speak, my secretary for fifteen years, and 
was closely associated with me and did very valuable work, 
practicing psychoanalysis in the way it should be done. Then 
he went another way and since then we have no longer had 
relations with each other ... I cannot go into the reasons 
why, because I have no right to reveal his personal life, but I 
can say one thing, because it is generally known: since leav- 
ing me, Rank has been having periodic fits of depression, and 
in between, sort of manic phases periods in which he does a 
great deal of work, and others in which he cannot do any at 
all He had this tendency before, but now . . . one could call 
him ill (krank)! 9 

I neither liked the explanation, nor felt it was my personal 
concern, and changed the subject. "The personal factors in 
scientific work are certainly very great," I said, "and Meyer 
once wrote to me and said how anxious he was to learn what 
personal forces, what experiences, were behind the scientific 
work of Ellis and yourself/' 

"My personal experiences?'' asked Freud. "Meyer wants to 
know? I certainly don't intend to tell them. No man could tell 
the truth about himself/' 

"But you could come nearest to being the exception/' I 
suggested. "The world would be most anxious to hear, and 
would profit from the knowledge." 

"It won't hear anything from me; I have told enough about 
myself in my Traumdeutung" said Freud. "If it discovers 
things in some other way, that is not my concern. People 
should interest themselves in psychoanalysis, and not in my 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I said I half suspected that Ellis would write an autobiog- 

"Not even he could be altogether honest/ 7 said Freud. 

I said it did not seem to me to be so very difficult: what- 
ever one revealed of oneself, one could be sure it was never 
completely exceptional, and it would be good if somebody un- 
dertook to break the convention of silence and hypocrisy. 

"It is not a question of hypocrisy or being ashamed/' 
Freud said. "It is simply a matter of self-protection (Selbst- 
schutz), and I would not be the only one concerned/' 

December 27, 1934 

The hour was spent in a scientific discussion of incest and 
the perversions. Ellis had sent me a review he had written of 
Westermarcks's new Three Essays on Sex, and Marriage, and I 
had been thinking over this subject. 

"It seems to me more likely than ever/' I said to Freud, 
"that the sex impulse is nonspecific and changeable, not only 
in children but in adults too. It is kept within certain limits 
largely by the force of social habit and tradition, but any tra- 
dition may in time prove to be no longer useful; it is alarm- 
ing to think how much the world could change if people 
were merely or completely 'natural'. What is really wrong 
with incest or homosexuality or the other perversions? What 
is the justification for jealousy, and supposing it comes to be 
recognized as wrong, what will happen to monogamy? It is dis- 
turbing to think of all the possibilities for change." 

Freud said thoughtfully he was not so sure that one could 
call the sex impulse nonspecific, and he believed that devia- 
tions from normal heterosexuality were harmful 

"But they are harmful because they lead to conflicts with 
social demands/' I said. "If society however did not disap- 



prove of perversions, would they be harmful in themselves?" 

"Perversions are biologically inferior/' said Freud, "since 
they do not lead to procreation/' 

"But that argument can no longer be used/ 7 I said, "be- 
cause the desirability of limiting procreation is now generally 
recognized. But perhaps I exaggerate the capacity of human 
beings to practice perversions; the anatomical advantages of 
normal heterosexual relations are so definite that they out- 
shadow everything else." 

"That may be/' said Freud, "but homosexuality on the 
other hand is much safer; there is no danger of conception. 
Homosexuality, however, has other undesirable social conse- 
quences: it would disturb the ability of men to think objec- 
tively. A homosexual teacher, for example, would always show 
a preference for certain students, for purely emotional rea- 
sons, and it would not be the best students who would get 
scholarships. That is the kind of trouble we have in our uni- 
versity here, for example, where Christians get preference 
over Jews without due regard to ability." 

I did not think this was a very good argument, but only 
said, "That sort of thing exists now in the relation between 
men and women, but it is not an unmixed disadvantage; in 
fact men and women often work together very nicely as a re- 

"That is because they are man and woman," said Freud, 
"but a homosexual relationship would make things worse." 

I persisted in my argument that it was social demands and 
restrictions which kept sexuality within certain channels, and 
quoted Ellis's statement that homosexuality was glorified in 
ancient Greece. Freud said it was really looked down upon 
by the Greeks. "One has only to read Aristophanes to see how 
it was regarded," he said. It flourished particularly in the old 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

Minoan period, but subsided later, and disappeared for un- 
known reasons. "But, on the whole/ 7 he said, "homosexuality 
seems to have been much more prevalent in ancient times than 
nowadays. A philosopher has recently written a book to show 
that all of Plato's work is nothing but an apology for his homo- 

Freud however was not inclined to make an excursion into 
sociological problems to discuss the advisability of laws 
against perversions, and the like. "Those are purely practical 
matters/' he said, "and have nothing to do with science." 

I did not altogether agree with this. The tenor of our dis- 
cussion was not particularly pleasant Freud sometimes did 
not bother to answer my remarks. At other times, he would 
say there was nothing new to what I said. 

"Everybody knows that," he would say. I would hasten to 
explain I made no claims to priority; I was simply interested 
in getting his views. 

"You ought to read what has been said on all these things/' 
he would say. I decided Freud would have much preferred to 
proceed with my analysis. 

December 28, 1934 

Freud admitted today that the harmfulness of perverse sex 
behavior arose from the conflicts it caused, and that the con- 
flicts were in turn caused by social disapproval. Since he 
could give no strong reason why perverse behavior was harm- 
ful in itself, it seemed to me a significant admission of the 
great importance of the social factor. 

I resumed the account of my dreams: one dream in which 
I felt dirty and kept changing my shirt; another dream in 
which I mistook my sister for my wife, and thought of the 
name Oscar Wil$e. By fitting them together, I said the 



dreams showed a wish to cleanse myself of this messy sex 
business and discussion of incest and perversions. Freud said 
fleas and insects meant children as a rule. That complicated 
the interpretation and we made no headway. Freud suggested 
that since I changed my shirt four times, the dream might 
be related to my four siblings three sisters and a brother 
and meant I dislike the notion of incestuous relations. I 
thought it might just as well mean I wished to have four 
children. None of this seemed convincing to me, but Freud 
was patient and kindly. 

"When you learn more, you will be able to interpret bet- 
ter/' he said. 

December 31, 1934 

"Well, what do you bring at the close of the year?" asked 

I told him of some dreams. In the first, I dreamed I was 
driving an auto, but was making many mistakes, and almost 
had an accident. It was a wish-fulfillment. I wished I had an 
auto; I was making mistakes because it was a foreign auto, and 
I was driving in Austria a nice example of a dream which 
seemed to be the opposite of a wish, but on close examina- 
tion turned out to be one. 

The second dream was more complicated: I was in a 
mountain hotel, among women and men resembling doctors, 
and a certain doctor from the eye clinic was frying eggs in the 
kitchen. The entire scene bore a distant resemblance to 
Bellevue Hospital, where I had been working, but I could 
not do much in the way of interpretation. I suggested the 
possibility of a sexual interpretation, and when I told Freud 
that my wife had been frying eggs lately, Freud picked up the 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

suggestion, and said the doctor might be a substitute for 
my wife. 

"I suggested a sexual interpretation/ 7 I told Freud, "just 
to show how very honest I am, and to show I have no Wider- 
stand. That makes me feel there is never a completely free 
association; there are always elements of motivation in what 
occurs to me, and that ought to be taken into account." 

Freud's suggestion that the egg-frying represented a do- 
mestic scene did not appeal to me. 

I said in refutation that the doctor was frying too many 
eggs, and there were too many people around, and it was too 
big a kitchen for such private domesticity; furthermore, I 
knew the doctor too slightly and did not like him particularly. 
I did not know his name, but he conducted the course in 
ophthalmoscopy (Spiegelkurs] . Freud then suggested that 
there might be a resemblance between fried eggs Spiegel- 
eier and ophthalmoscopy Augenspiegeln which I said 
would be quite possible, except that I did not customarily 
think in German. 

"That does not matter/' said Freud. "All languages that 
you know may be used in dreams." 

"Then we have been neglecting a wealth of material/ 7 I 
said, "for I know a number of languages/' 

Later Freud tentatively suggested a connection between the 
eggs and testicles, but I said the connection was not fre- 
quent in American parlance; the vulgar term for testicles 
was nuts, or balls. 

"Besides," I said, "the eggs should in that case be boiled, 
not fried." Freud was kindly, pleasant and patient. 

"Your conclusions are often more convincing than your 
methods," I said. "You seem to have a special kind of in- 
communicable intuition." 



"It is not intuition/' said Freud, "it is just ready associa- 
tion. You happen not to associate so readily where your un- 
conscious is concerned; that is why I ventured to say you had 
no special talent for psychoanalysis, and that is why the proc- 
ess of teaching you takes longer. But some people have it, 
even though they may be totally uncultivated otherwise/" 

"Does ignorance of my own unconscious keep me from 
observing its workings in others?" I asked. 

"That question is answered in the affirmative," said Freud. 
"A person who has not seen the operation of his own un- 
conscious cannot see it in others either." 

January 3, 1935 

I spoke again of the insulin shock therapy, and said I found 
it fascinating but time-consuming; it was proving to be a 
serious distraction. 

"Fm sure if s interesting and important," said Freud, "but 
you must remember you have only a month left for your 
analysis, and you ought to concentrate more on it. You can 
do the other things later. Analysis is more important for 

"Possibly," I said. 

"That is another one of your superior answers," said Freud. 
"You ought to make it clear to yourself that it is important 
for you." We argued a little about it pleasantly, and I agreed 
that I would spend less time on the problem of insulin shock. 

"No," said Freud, "don't tell me that now. You should 
have told yourself that before, and never even have allowed 
yourself to be so distracted. Here we are moving to the end 
of the analysis, and you still haven't grasped the funda- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I said I expected to study later and perhaps learn more 
when I did my own analyzing, 

"But you have no right to analyze/' said Freud emphati- 
cally. "You know nothing about it you are just a bloody 
beginner" (Freud used the English phrase.) "You have no 
idea of technique at all. People have to be analyzed two or 
three years, listen to lectures, do their first analyses under 
control, and study thoroughly before they can call them- 
selves analysts. You have been here a few months, and you 
still have to learn the wish theory of dreams and the na- 
ture of dream symbolism." 

"But I cannot, unfortunately, study forever," I said. "I 
have a research fellowship and have to do some research of 
my own. What will I live on otherwise!" 

"I recognize all that but it has nothing to do with analysis. 
You have a right to live, but not as an analyst." He then 
told the French anecdote of the officer who said: "II faut 
que je vive" and the general who answered: "Je ne vois pas 
la necessite" 

"I hope that does not apply to me," I said. 

"It does too," said Freud paternally. "If anybody asked me 
about a certain talented Wortis who came to study with me, 
I will say he learned nothing from me, and I will disclaim all 

"I don't seem to have made much of a personal success 
with you," I said. 

"Decidedly not," said Freud. "I have told you the truth to 
the point of rudeness. It is people like you who are respon* 
sible for all the theories that are floating around, and confus- 
ing the scientific world. It is not the stupid people who cause 
trouble. Stupid people ruin themselves. ... It is the people 



with talent who cause trouble. But you are still young and can 
change, that is why I tell you all this/' 

"But,** I protested, "y u m ight have discouraged me so 
much that I wouldn't have done anything/ 7 

"I don't think I could have done you any harm. Either 
you are so conceited that my remarks don't bother you, and 
you run me down in return, so that I have another enemy 
which doesn't matter or else you take notice of what I say, 
and act accordingly. The reason for so much bad science is 
not that talent is rare, not at all; what is rare is character. 
People are not honest, they don't admit their ignorance, and 
that is why they write such nonsense. With young people, 
one has to reckon with a certain amount of antagonism, be- 
cause they want to assert themselves, they want to do things 
better than their elders, but I, I have no reason to be antag- 
onistic, I can afford to tell the truth, I have nothing to lose. 
Ellis has had a bad effect on you, because he spoiled you, 
because Ellis makes too few judgments, as I told you before, 
and here you come and feel free to air your opinions in spite 
of your ignorance. You say you like my conclusions but not 
my technique, or you say you don't believe in the wish theory 
of dreams." Of psychoanalysis, Freud added, I knew a 
Schmarren, which, in Austrian dialect, means a little more, 
or worse than nothing. "A serious scientist," he went on, 
"should inform himself on the subject first; you should read 
books on the subject in this case, my books and let your- 
self be convinced. You will find plenty of proof there from 
all sorts of dreams . . * a single person cannot dream every- 
thing himself. . . /' 

I told of a dream I had in which I ran from one bus-line 
the Freud Hne to another bus-line, the Adler line, where 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I caught a bus. The occasion for the dream was twofold: 
I had been at a party New Year's Eve at the home of Al- 
fred Adler's daughter (who has an auto), and I also thought 
that Freud's emphasis of the social conflict in the homosexual 
problem was Adlerian. 

"Do you think Adler is the only one, then, who believes 
that social conflict is important?" asked Freud. "Psychoanaly- 
sis has always recognized that denial of one sort or another is 
the cause of every neurosis. Homosexuality is not bad in 
itself, except possibly in a biological sense, but is bad because 
of the social conflicts it provokes. All this reminds me of 
some criticism we have been getting from communistic 
quarters, especially in America: they say that social factors 
are too much neglected by psychoanalysis. It is true that 
money troubles may help to complicate a situation or pre- 
cipitate a neurosis, but that is not everything. But when these 
people start saying that the aggressive impulse comes from 
our capitalistic society, they are simply not scientific. If they 
merely said that competitive life was a factor that provoked 
aggressiveness, that would be something worth discussing, 
but matters are not quite so simple. Long ago, when I used 
to believe such things, I remember having two women pa- 
tients in my office in succession: one a wealthy French 
duchess, an Austrian by birth, who bewailed her fate to me, 
and said at the end of her tale of woe, that she wished she 
had the ordinary troubles of life & sick child, or money trou- 
bles, or a brutal husband so that she could really feel she 
was a living human being, and not a mere neurotic. She went 
away since I naturally could not cure her in the course of a 
consultation and another woman, much poorer, came in and 
told me another tale of woe, about a sick husband, financial 
difficulties, and the like, and concluded by saying that she 



thought she would be perfectly all right if only she did not 
have these troubles. . . ." 

I thought this argument had some loopholes, but did not 
want to pursue it "Do you find much difference in the form 
and frequency of neuroses in different social classes?" I asked. 

"To be sure/' said Freud, "every group reacts differently/' 

"Are neuroses less common among the working classes?" 
I asked. 

"Since we have opened our free psychoanalytic clinic/* 
said Freud, "we have been able to see how widespread and 
frequent neuroses are among the poorer classes but there are 
differences. The working man takes to drink as soon as a 
neurosis begins to develop, and drinks it away/' 

"That would seem to be a very good procedure, then/* 
I said. 

"No/' said Freud, "it is very bad for the man, only it is 
good for the neurosis. . . . The women however have no 
such outlet, and neuroses are very widespread among them. In 
the upper and middle classes, among the bourgeoisie, on the 
other hand, they have their outlet in the practice of sexual 
perversions, which are extremely common, and in sexual ex- 


"How about the peasantry?" 

"We have not much experience there, and they would 
seem to be less exposed to neuroses, but they have their own 
ways of reacting, we can be sure/' 

I said I would go back to New York and maybe associate 
myself with Schilder again if I 'could. "You can learn a lot 
from Schilder," said Freud. "Schilder shares most of our 
views. In some respects though, he has opinions of his own, 
to which every man is certainly entitled, and is thus outside 
the psychoanalytic group. He does not believe in the neces- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

sity of a didactic analysis, for example, and keeps his pa- 
tients under treatment for only three or four months/' 

"Is he a pupil of yours?" I asked. 

"Not directly/' said Freud. "In fact, I don't think he has 
been analyzed by anybody, but he has lived in and absorbed 
the atmosphere here for years/' 

For some reason I had occasion to say I would consider it 
an honor to translate a work of Freud's. "But everything has 
been translated already," said Freud. 

"A new work?" I asked. 

"I don't expect there will be any more," said Freud. 

, 1935 

Our New Year's greetings card carried a rough sketch of 
myself on the analytic couch with Freud peering over the 
end and his big chow sitting on his haunches beside us. Ellis 

December 30, 1934 

All best wishes for the New Year to you both from Fran- 
goise and from me. We enjoyed your clever and lifelike 
sketch of the psychoanalysis and laughed heartily. I hope it 
is now over! ... 

Yours ever, 

At Freud's I spoke again of some observations on the effect 
of insulin, and he followed with great interest He agreed 
that it ought to prove epoch-making in medicine. 

I asked whether his old observation that half of his severe 



neurotic cases had a syphilitic parent still held; he said it 
did, though he had never worked up the material in that 
direction. He did not think the neuroses in his cases were due 
to congenital syphilis but rather to the Keimschadigung, or 
genetic taint from the parent. 

I mentioned the great archaeological interest his collection 
of old figurines and art objects would have if it were sys- 
tematically studied, as an archaeologist friend of mine had 
suggested, by an archaeologist with psychoanalytic training, 
but Freud did not warm to the idea, "These things are of 
interest when they are found here in situ and not in some- 
body's big private miscellaneous collection/' he said. 

I gave an account of a complicated dream in which I was 
back in America, and involved in discussions with Schilder 
and my sponsors concerning my plan of work. I was also in 
a church, and then in a courtroom in which a jolly English 
judge smoked a pipe. All the material came from the pre- 
vious analytic hour: the discussion of my work and of Schil- 
der, The church reminded me of Austria, which was now 
experiencing a Catholic revival, and the court meant I was 
being judged again. I suggested that the jolly judge was 
Freud (who also liked to smoke) and that he was jolly and 
tolerated a song and dance, because I wished I would be 
judged with levity and good humor. 

Freud admitted this possible interpretation, but said it 
seemed too thin (mager) for a dream content. 

I said I thought it might be sufficiently important, since 
it is very disagreeable to be harshly judged. 

We made no further progress, and I talked of dreams in 
general, for I had been reading Freud's Traumdeutung in 
an earlier edition, and Freud kindly offered to get me a late 
edition, which he thought he had. . . . Going back to the 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

dream, I said it was hard to say whether certain distortions 
in the dream were the work of the unconscious or the 
censor. How could one decide? 

"They belong in two altogether different categories/' said 
Freud. "One should not pair them together. It reminds 
me of the young lady who told the Munich hygienist Petten- 
koffer, It was all very interesting, professor, only I didn't 
quite understand the difference between convex and con- 
crete/ The difference is the same, my dear lady/ said the 
professor, 'as between Pettenkofer and Patentkoffer' " (the 
German word for suitcase) . Freud concluded by saying that 
the dream censor was not necessarily a part of the conscious 

January 7, 1935 

I dreamed I saw a dancing troupe in Holland and inter- 
preted the dream as a wish to see a certain half-Dutch little 
ballet dancer with a Dutch name I once knew. Freud agreed 
with the interpretation. The discussion petered out. I said 
I was feeling a trifle low, and Freud seemed to show a fa- 
therly and encouraging interest 

I said the rule that all the dreams of a single night must be 
related seemed too rigid. "Do, the people in northern Nor- 
way, where the night is six months long, have only related 
dreams?" I asked. 

"Go up there and see!" said Freud. "Our rule is the result 
of our observations." 

I spoke of a female transvestite that I had seen at the 
Bauer clinic, and Freud remarked that too little was known 
of female transvestitism; a case of that sort should be analyzed, 
he said. Hirschfeld's term was an unhappy one, he said; the 
cases were usually homosexual, he thought. Male transvest- 



itism was an indication, he said, that even homosexuals pre- 
ferred signs of womanliness in the men they chose a fur- 
ther proof that homosexuality was seldom thorough-going. 
"But there are no rules/' he added, "and one cannot put 
all cases in the same class/' We again spoke of homosexual- 
ityits undesirability, etc., and Freud said one ought not to 
persecute homosexuals, but one ought not on the other hand 
to give them entirely free rein a certain restraining atti- 
tude, he felt, was justifiable. 

A dream I had about a library and a railway station and 
an essay on archaeology was easily related to events and 
thoughts of the preceding day, but not otherwise interpreted. 
"The relation of dream material to recent thoughts or ob- 
servations, at any rate ? seems clear to me/' I said. 

"Even that was disputed for a long time/' said Freud. 

"I wonder if men who have been bottle-fed as infants 
would feel any interest in women's breasts/ 7 I asked. 

"I think so/' said Freud. "Even without assuming the in- 
heritance of acquired characteristics, one must admit that 
much can be inherited/' 

"But I thought you did believe in the inheritance of ac- 
quired characteristics/' I said. 

"I do/' he said, "but you don't" 

January 8, 1934 

This was one of the very worst hours, and I was again 
subjected to one of Freud's regular rough criticisms. The oc- 
casion was a dream which, I remarked rather facetiously, I 
was glad to say seemed quite normal. Freud made some sharp 
critical rejoinder, and I defended myself by saying nobody 
likes to hear of bad or morbid traits. Freud thereupon told 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

me to give up my narcissistic attitude and be more receptive 
to what was said. 

"I am not so sure I am so narcissistic/' I said; "I usually 
don't hesitate to recite my faults and weaknesses to others." 

"The reason for that of course/ 7 said Freud, "is well 
known: you tell other people, so that they may not tell you." 

I should not argue back, he said; my incapacity to accept 
unpleasant facts was an especially bad trait^ because, unlike 
other bad tendencies, it could not be diverted into useful 

"Perhaps I may yet find something good in it," I replied. 

"Up to now I have seen no sign of it," said Freud. What 
was the use of telling me things like that, I asked, what 
was I to do about it? 

"Go celebrate a Sabbath with it," said Freud, using the 
Yiddish phrase. I said I didn't quite know what that meant. 

"Go put it in your pipe, as you Americans say, and smoke 
it," said Freud, in English. This was all disconcerting and 
got me nowhere. When I left I said I still hoped to find 
some good uses for my peculiarities. 

"It is certainly to be hoped for," said Freud. 

I had also reported another dream, in which it seemed 
to me I killed two people. "An annoying dream," I re- 

"Annoying to the people, you mean," said Freud. 

January 9, 1935 

Freud was very nice today and spoke in a friendly inter- 
ested tone as soon as the analysis started. I warned him that 
I was very much tempted to fight back after yesterday's hu- 
miliation, though I realized that my knowledge of psycho- 


analysis would not be thus Improved. Freud however encour- 
aged me to let off steam, and said he would not take offense. 
I said in brief I thought his methods of arguing were intimi- 
dating and coercive, and that he did not allow me enough 
freedom of discussion or opinion, etc., etc. Freud answered 
with admirable patience, said he did not wish me to accept 
his views at once, would rather have me be sceptical and cau- 
tious, only he did not want me to reject them at once, either; 
that he did not mean any personal offense, that he did not 
wish to overemphasize any particular abnormal tendency of 
mine, that I was well within normal limits, and that every- 
body showed one tendency or another. 

I told him of a dream in which I was back at Bellevue 
talking in a friendly way to Schilder; it seemed to reflect the 
spirit of my own wishes regarding Freud. 

January 10, 1935 

I had another dream in which I was talking amicably with 
Freud, and admiring his vigor. Freud was again friendly and 
attentive, accepted my interpretation of the dream as a wish 
for conciliation but added later it seemed at times too 
friendly and suggested an overcompensated hostility. He 
took occasion to put in a little word of praise for me here 
and there, and offered me a copy of the recent edition of his 
Traumdeutung that I had been looking for. 

He recently had occasion to ventilate again his homosexual 
theory of jealousy or lack of jealousy, and had cited Dostoiev- 
ski as an example of a man who gave his wife freedom of 
conduct with a beloved male friend. Last night I had two 
dreams in which I made love to the wives of friends. I said 
it looked as if I accepted his theory that a man may grant his 

Fragments of an Analysis 'with Freud 

wife freedom with a beloved friend, provided that it was I 
who played the part of the friend. 

"That is much more satisfactory/' said Freud, and ac- 
cepted my interpretation. 

The conversation turned again to insulin and psychiatry. 
Freud again stated his position on organic factors in neuroses 
and psychoses, talking clearly and deliberately. Analysis, he 
said, was limited in its curative effect because it could not 
reach the organic factors, but it recognized the importance of 
such factors. A constitutional organic factor was not neces- 
sarily something unchangeable. He welcomed the advent of 
insulin shock treatment, and thought it meant progress, but 
said there was nothing revolutionary to the idea that schizo- 
phrenia could be cured, since spontaneous remissions were 
known to occur. "A disease that can cure itself can be cured 
by medicine too, that is a general rule; medicine is an aid to 
the natural forces." Not all such aids were equal in value, 
he went on to say; there were degrees of potency. He told me 
of a case of melancholia in a woman where the symptoms 
disappeared completely for an interval of three weeks, be- 
cause the woman's child contracted diphtheria. He men- 
tioned cases of hysterical paralysis where the paralysis dis- 
appeared in an emergency. "Not all psychic influences/ 7 he 
said, "are equally potent. As Charcot always used to say, 'We 
cannot compete with Lourdes'; and many cases indeed were 
actually sent there. In analysis however we have the powerful 
tool of the unconscious/' 

I said on leaving that it would be good if all psychoana- 
lysts showed his open-mindedness and good sense in these 

"If they are my pupils, they do/' said Freud. 



January 15, 1935 

I had a slight cold and did not feel in a mood to discuss 
the intricacies of my personal life. I told of a simple dream 
the night before, in which I got involved with three women, 
including my wife. 

"An easy dream/' said Freud, "showing infidelity and 
fidelity at once/ 7 

"A typical dream of mine/' I said, "which I have had very 
often/' I talked of odds and ends, not much to the point, and 
Freud made little comment. I remarked that artists for some 
reason seemed to me sometimes to be more intelligent than 
scientists, but Freud said nothing. I spoke of my liking for 
music, which was not easy to understand in terms of the un- 
conscious. Freud suggested it was a satisfaction of some deep 
craving for rhythm, but admitted that the problem of esthet- 
ics in music was very obscure. Bauer, I told him, counted the 
love of music among the degenerative stigmata. 

"An exaggeration/' said Freud. I also said that Bauer al- 
ways insisted that a lingua plicata generally was an indication 
of neuropathy. Freud did not know what a lingua plicata was. 
I explained. Freud was interested but unimpressed, and 
agreed with me that it simply meant the tongue was a bit 
larger than the jaw containing it. About Bauer, he said a 
person may have talent in one direction and be a fool in an- 
other. Before leaving I asked whether he thought all this 
chatter was a sign of resistance. 

"I think so/' he said. "Tomorrow we may pretty surely 
expect it to become so clear that we can attack it/ 7 

At about this time I wrote a letter to Dr. Meyer which re- 
flected my feelings toward some of my current experiences: 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

January 15, 1935- 

There has been much of interest that has turned up lately, 
and now that we are leaving soon, I have less time than ever 
to catch up with myself. Freud continues to teach me pa- 
tiently and on the whole sympathetically, though every two 
weeks or so I get a humiliating scolding for being too scepti- 
cal. Freud has a wonderful talent for making one feel worth- 
less, and if I took everything he said seriously, without ana- 
lyzing him, I should feel pretty low indeed. It will soon be 
over, and it will have been a fine experience. 

Last time I mentioned StekeFs name to Freud, Freud 
cursed him roundly and took three days to forget it, but to- 
day I met Stekel in the Gesellschaft der Arzte and took a lit- 
tle walk with him. Stekel seems to be an interesting man (he 
spoke enthusiastically of you), but all these schools of analy- 
sis are simply confusing to a mere beginner, and the amount 
and intensity of personal animosity I find among them has 
no parallel except perhaps among opera singers. It seems to 
me that the reason for this is that psychology is far from be- 
ing an exact science (I am doubtful if it can ever be) and 
leaves much room for personal preference and prejudice. I 
think, though, that the scientific part of psychology can be 
much extended, and already there seems to be a conflict be- 
tween some clearly demonstrable facts and psychoanalytic 

I should like to call your attention, Dr. Meyer, to a re- 
markable contribution to the study of schizophrenia, which 
is now appearing in installments in the Wiener medizinische 
Wochenschrift It is concerned with the effect of insulin hy- 
poglycemic shock on early schizophrenic cases, and is by a 
young Austrian internist named Manfred Sakel. The first in- 


stallment appeared, if I remember, in November, 1934 (No. 
45), and the series is still running. I have been checking up 
on his claims and following up cases of his at the Potzl 
Clinic for the past month, and find everything he says relia- 
ble: the results are simply extraordinary. Potzl is now behind 
him, and if the procedure is developed it may well prove 
historical I am doing a report in English to bring back with 
me. The procedure at present is very difficult and dangerous 
and there have been two deaths this past year. It is beginning 
to be widely discussed and ought certainly to prove impor- 
tant. Freud is much interested, 

I manage to get to Bauer's a few times a week and am 
busy with the little Arbeit that Marburg suggested to me. 
His valuable little seminar is continuing and information 
pours in from all sides at once perhaps more than is good 
for me. 

Tomorrow my wife and I shall lunch at Marburg's. He 
was very pleased to get your regards again. We are planning 
to leave about February ist, or as soon afterwards as we can, 
and it ought not to be long before we see New York again. 
What my plans will be like then it is difficult to say, but in a 
general way my work is now laid out for me, and I have 

plenty to think about. I ought to be seeing early in 

March, and hope you will find time to see me when I get 


January 16, 1935 

After meeting Stekel at the Medical Society I had a dream 
about him. In the dream he proposed a new theory for the 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

origin of homosexuality, saying it came from an otitis media, 
and travelled over the nerve, like a filterable virus, to produce 
brain disturbances, resulting in homosexuality. Freud said an 
organic point of view was foreign to Stekel's nature; what- 
ever he was it could be said to his credit that he remained an 
analyst and his outlook was analytical. In the dream I re- 
jected the theory, and said I would wait until I found a con- 
vincing one. This, I said, corresponded to my waking 
thoughts about psychological schools in general. 

I said Stekel described Freud to me as "one of the great- 
est of geniuses/' but Freud rejected the compliment by say- 
ing it was purposely meant to reach his ears. "Calling me a 
genius is the latest way people have of starting their criticism 
of me; that is the sort of thing that has been happening for 
the past five years or so. First they call me a genius and then 
they proceed to reject all my views. If they thought I was a 
genius, one should think they would not question my author- 
ity. If they said I am a genius because I discovered dream in- 
terpretation, or the meaning of symbols, or the phenomenon 
of repression, then I would be satisfied. But they do just the 

"But," I objected, "you certainly consider many people 
geniuses but still reject their views. I am sure, for example, 
you think Goethe a genius, but you do not accept everything 
he said." 

"To be sure Goethe was a genius," said Freud, "but he 
was a poet, not a scientist." 

"Or, take Charcot," I went on. "When you were not much 
older than I you wrote a fine appreciative essay on Charcot, 
in which you rejected some of his views. Charcot still 
thought, you remember, that general paresis was an inher- 
ited disease." 



'It's true I criticized Charcot," said Freud, "but not on my 
own authority. I simply took sides with Fournier against him 
on that point But/' he went on, "it's true I took an inde- 
pendent position against him on some points too ? on his 
emphasis of heredity and so on. ... But with you/' he con- 
tinued, "it is not a question of taking sides or forming 
independent opinions; you reject views simply because they 
are unpleasant. That is not a scientific attitude." 

"I am sorry if I have ever pretended that it was; and if I 
did, I hope I have changed/' I said. "But it would be worth- 
while/' I added, "to review the things I have rejected simply 
because they were unpleasant." 

"There haven't been too many/' said Freud, and made 
some reference to an earlier dream interpretation. I con- 
curred in a spirit of sincere conciliation. 

"But in analysis," Freud warned me, "one learns what real 
conviction means, and I think there is reason to suspect that 
you are still not altogether convinced." 

"Because," I interrupted, "I was too proud to present you 
with an apparently contradictory dream?" 

"Fine!" said Freud with enthusiasm. "That's what I call 
real analysis." 

"Well," I said, "I hope I will learn in time." 

"That was fine!" said Freud again. 

January 17, 1935 

I was reading a volume of Einstein's in the waiting room 
when Freud came in. 

"Einstein is an interesting and likeable man," I said, "but 
his attitude towards the Jewish question is somewhat puz- 
zling to me, and I confess I ana not easily in sympathy with 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

his or your Jewish nationalism. I wish I could clear up the 
problem for myself. I have no strong Jewish feelings, and up 
to recently was satisfied to think of myself mainly as an 
American, How far ought I to let my allegiance to the Jews 
bring me?" 

"That is not a problem for Jews/ 7 said Freud, "because 
the Gentiles make it unnecessary to decide; as long as Jews 
are not admitted into Gentile circles, they have no choice but 
to band together/ 7 

"But how about the program for the future? I would like 
to see the Jews become assimilated and disappear, and Ein- 
stein talks as if they ought to be preserved forever." 

"The future will show how far that is possible/' said 
Freud. "I personally do not see anything wrong in mixed 
marriages, if both parties are suited to each other, though I 
must say that the chances for success seem greater in a Jew- 
ish marriage: family life is closer and warmer, and devotion 
is much more common. My married children have all 
married Jews, though it may be that they would have mar- 
ried Christians if they had found the right ones. It simply 
happens that the Gentiles who courted them or with whom 
they came in contact were not up to standard, and the Jews 
of their circle seemed superior. It may well be however that 
they simply did not have access to the best Christian circles. 
There is no reason why Jews ought not to be perfectly 
friendly with Gentiles; there is no real clash of interests. But 
a Jew ought not to get himself baptized and attempt to turn 
Christian because it is essentially dishonest, and the Chris- 
tian religion is every bit as bad as the Jewish. Jew and Chris- 
tian ought to meet on the common ground of irreligion and 
humanity. Jews who are ashamed of their Jewishness have 
simply reacted to the mass suggestion of their society." 


"But I don't know what the Jews stand for/* I said. "I can 
pledge allegiance to a scientific group, or a political or cul- 
tural group because they represent certain ideals, but what 
does Judaism stand for; in what way do its ideals differ from 
other group ideals?" 

"Ruthless egotism is much more common among Gentiles 
than among Jews/' said Freud, "and Jewish family life and 
intellectual life are on a higher plane." 

"You seem to think the Jews are a superior people, then/' 
I said. 

"I think nowadays they are/' said Freud. "When one 
thinks that ten or twelve percent of the Nobel Prize winners 
are Jews and when one thinks of their other great achieve- 
ments in sciences and in the arts, one has every reason to 
think them superior/' 

"Jews have bad manners/' I said, "especially in New 

"That is true/' said Freud; "they are not always adapted 
to social life. Before they enjoyed emancipation in 1818 they 
were not a social problem, they kept to themselves with a 
low standard of life it is true but they did not go out in 
mixed society. Since then they have had much to learn. In 
countries where they have enjoyed real freedom, however, as 
in Italy, they are indistinguishable in this respect from Ital- 
ians. The old saying is true: 'Every country has the Jews that 
it deserves/ America certainly hasn't encouraged the best 
kind of social conduct/' 

"It is also said that Jews are physically inferior," I said. 

"That is no longer true either/' said Freud, "now that the 
Jews have access to outdoor life and the sports, you find 
them the equal of the Gentiles in every respect, and we 
have plenty of champions in all fields/' 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

"And, finally/ 7 I said, "the Jews are over-intellectualized; 
it was Jung who said, for example, that psychoanalysis bears 
the mark of this Jewish over-intellectualization." 

"So much the better for psychoanalysis then!" said Freud. 
"Certainly the Jews have a strong tendency to rationalize 
that is a very good thing. What Jung contributed to psychoa- 
nalysis was mysticisim, which we can well dispense with. 
. . . But I do not want to go too much in the direction of 
nationalism either/' Freud continued. "I am not much of a 
Zionist at least not the way Einstein is, even though I am one 
of the curators of the Hebrew University in Palestine. I rec- 
ognized the great emotional force, though, of a Jewish center 
in the world, and thought it would be a rallying point for 
Jewish ideals. If it had been in the Uganda, it would not have 
been anything near so good. The sentimental value of Pal- 
estine was very great Jews pictured their old compatriots 
wailing and praying as in the olden days at the old wall 
which by the way was built by Herod, not by Solomon and 
felt a revival of their old spirit. I was afraid for a while though 
that Zionism would become the occasion for a revival of 
the old religion, but I have been assured by people who have 
been there that all the young Jews are irreligious, which is 
a good thing. ... But all this," said Freud, "is not psy- 
choanalysis; however it is worth discussing because I see you 
have a sincere interest in the problem. Besides it has its psy- 
choanalytic value too: people are after all nothing but chil- 
dren, they believe their parents more than anybody else. If 
one takes a parental attitude, it is all to the good. People 
tend to believe those people whom they love or like. It ought 
not to be so, but it is." 

I told of a dream in which I met Magnus Hirschfeld 
(whom I once met casually) in a bookshop, and discussed 



sex problems with him. I suggested that the dream was analo- 
gous to yesterday's dream about Stekel; both were critical of 
Freudian psychoanalysis, and both people were disliked by 

"But Stekel is not homosexual/' said Freud, "by no means. 
He was quite a seducer (verfuhrerisch} in his youth, which 
I do not hold against him it was perfectly all right Hirsch- 
feld is not only homosexual, but perverse too, and in the 
most ludicrous way, . . ." Freud then proceeded to tell me 
in detail of the way in which Hirschfeld satisfied himself 
with male prostitutes, with an elaborate ritual involving pres- 
sure on his toes, etc. "What could be more ludicrous and 
childish?" concluded Freud, and he then explained it all psy- 

"I must confess that I find it difficult to judge/' I said. 
"All I can say is that it seems strange, but I think evaluations 
are out of place. How do we know what high thoughts they 
have during this procedure?" 

"None, I can assure you," said Freud; "even in normal 
coitus, one shouldn't have high thoughts, one's only interest 
is the act itself . . . It's true that evaluations (Werturteile) 
have nothing to do with science, but science need not prevent 
us from making them. Anyway, it is childish and unde- 
veloped." Freud then gave some other ludicrous and obscure 
examples of perversions. "If you think all those are biolog- 
ically or esthetically equal to normal coitus," he concluded, 
"that is your privilege/' 

"It's all a matter of private taste/' I insisted. "Bernard 
Shaw calls meat-eating disgusting cannibalism, and would 
probably find it hard to understand how a person can chew 
a dirty cigar for hours on end." 

"That is true," said Freud, "but you could say that meat- 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

eating and smoking are at least universal habits, but those 
other things are not/' 

January 18, 1935 

I dreamed last night appropriately enough of a slaughter- 
house and its brutalities. Beyond saying that it was worth 
serious discussion, neither of us had further comment to 
make, and I went on to other themes. I talked of various 
melancholy thoughts about the world and my future and 
the meaning of life, but agreed that these preoccupations 
were not of great importance, and probably came from the 
slight cold and malaise I was troubled with. 

"Those are problems that everybody has," said Freud, "and 
are not personal problems "of your own. . . ." 

For lack of subject matter, I revived yesterday's discussion 
and said I could not agree with Freud's attitude towards 
the perversions; I felt they were a purely private concern. 

"To be sure they are/' said Freud, "but that does not 
mean that they are beyond criticism. Homosexuality is an- 
other matter, and stands on a higher plane, since it is capa- 
ble of different uses, but even that ought not to be accepted 
as equal to normal/' I said homosexual interests were so often 
found in men of the highest type Leonardo, Whitman, Ed- 
ward Carpenter that it was difficult to look upon them as 
something inferior. 

"But an inferior trait doesn't by any means exclude the 
presence of the highest kind of qualities," said Freud. "If 
you go out to the Rothschild Garden here some day in the 
Hohe Warte you will find certain fruit trees of stunted 
growth which yield the most glorious and perfect fruit: it is 
often through some such sort of compensatory system that 
such achievements are possible. People of high intellectual 



ability are very often sexually abnormal or inadequate. Impo- 
tence is common, or the sexual impulse may be very weak 
altogether. Homosexuality is common too. Leonardo, for ex- 
ample, was probably an ideal hornosexualist: that is, he prob- 
ably was homosexual by nature but did not actually exer- 
cise his homosexuality. Socrates and his circle were certainly 
homosexual, and probably Plato too. . . . The presence of 
some such trait certainly does not exclude the highest type of 
ability . . . Kant," Freud went on, "seems to have been 
quite asexual, and the German artist Menzel actually declared 
in his will that he had never had relations with either man 
or woman." 

Freud was very glad to hear my wife was pregnant. "It 
is high time/ 7 he said. 

January 18, 1935 

Some simple dreams about girls were quickly disposed of. 
I also returned to an unexplained dream of the night be- 
fore, in which I made some purchases of books and ropes 
reminiscent of our old backyard, where I used to climb; 
and where foreign currency and figures occurred reminding 
me that I was leaving soon for Germany and home. I sug- 
gested that the dream showed a wish for more physical ac- 
tion such as climbing, and an interest in going to Germany 
and seeing R. Freud was satisfied. 

I talked a little of my plan of work in America, said I 
wasn't particularly keen on the subject of sex psychology or 
homosexuality and hoped I would find other fields to work 
in too. Freud said homosexuality could be an extremely in- 
teresting subject I discussed a case history of a homosexual 
that I had just received from Ellis: the subject was narcis- 
sistic, longed for his childhood again, and felt an attraction 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

to boys of eleven who resembled himself as he then was. He 
had been circumcised for medical reasons at the age of eleven 
and was only interested in uncircumcised boys. Freud ex- 
plained the case very aptly, said it was a transparent case 
of fixation at a certain age, that the homosexuality was here 
closely associated with the narcissism, and the subject really 
wanted his former self back again. Analysis was indicated; 
perhaps the fixation could be made fluid again and the sub- 
ject would grow interested in older mates and have a chance 
to achieve some satisfaction. Relations with children ought 
not to be encouraged or tolerated, said Freud; in fact they 
ought to be prevented with the severest measures. Nobody 
ought to be permitted to have sexual relations with people 
who did not enjoy freedom of choice and judgment: an em- 
ployer, for example, had no right to make advances to an 
employee, because free choice was not possible there. Chil- 
dren were still in the formative period of their sex develop- 
ment and ought not to be exposed to perverse influences; at 
the age of sixteen or seventeen, however, the sexual direction 
had been pretty much established, and relations were much 
less harmful. ... I asked Freud how the high frequency 
of homosexual practices among the aged especially toward 
children could be explained. Freud said, "With the declin- 
ing intelligence of the aged, there is also a diminution of 
moral restraint, and old latent tendencies which have all along 
been lurking in the unconscious now break through and show 
themselves. There are other factors too: perverse practices 
were less dangerous, and moreover old people have less oppor- 
tunity for normal gratification ... In fact, there is a gen- 
eral moral deterioration in old age/' said Freud. "The old 
saying that youth has no virtue (In der Jugend gibt's keine 
Tugend) is just the opposite of the truth: only in youth does 



one find virtue. The older you get, the worse (boshafter) 
you become. Women are especially awful in old age. It is said 
that women are the best examples of love and human kind- 
liness, but that applies at best only to young women. When 
a woman begins to age, she becomes an awful example of 
malevolence and intolerance. In fact I do not think that men 
are in this respect much better: they are intolerant, ill- 
tempered, petty-minded and unkind to an extraordinary de- 

"But not all of them/' I said. 

"What?" said Freud. 

"Not all of them," I repeated. 

January 21, 1935 

"An acquaintance of mine/' I said, "a rich American 
woman, is now in her fifth year of analysis/' 

"She must be rich to afford it," said Freud. 

"The question is, how far do analysts yield to the temp- 
tation to keep their patients overlong." 

"It is a question of medical ethics," said Freud. "Abuses 
are possible in analysis as in other branches of medicine." 

"Except," I said, "for the special weapon of the positive 
transference. At any rate, it raises the whole question of the 
importance of money to patients in analysis." 

"Now that we have free clinics and the psychoanalytic 
institutes, the question no longer arises. Anybody can now 
be analyzed; they may have to wait a little, but everybody 
has the privilege. Besides, every analyst has a number of free 
patients. Here in Vienna, for example, every analyst under- 
takes to treat two free patients. When one considers that an 
active analyst can at best treat seven or eight patients at 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

a time, then you must appreciate that it means a consider- 
able sacrifice/' 

I spoke of the place of psychoanalysis in socialized medi- 
cine, but Freud did not like the notion. 

"It is not suited to state supervision and has found no 
place in the social insurance schemes here; the present system 
seems best, and there is no occasion to worry about it. Psy- 
choanalysis is not a field where one grows rich easily." 

Freud spoke of the special nature of psychoanalytic prac- 
tice, "One soon learns to be attentive to hours of narrative 
without a strain/' he said. "It is only original thought which 
is tiring. When you simply play a passive part, it is no dif- 
ferent from sitting in a railway carriage and watching the 
landscape roll by; one soon learns what is significant and 
worth remembering, and it is always interesting/ 7 

I asked Freud whether he found writing difficult. 

"No/* he answered, "because I have usually not written 
until a thing was ripe and I felt a real compulsion to express 
myself. When I have had to write to order on the other hand 
introductions and the like it has always been hard/' 

The only dream I could remember was concerned with a 
medical school for women, and with libraries, both suggest- 
ing an interest in certain women doctors I knew, especially 

January 22, 1935 

Two scanty dreams concerned with the insulin cure and 
with hunting were inadequately interpreted, and I went on 
to talk of hunting. 

"The dreams are often simply an introduction to the other 
material/' Freud reminded me. 



A professional friend happened to be discussing his favor- 
ite sport of hunting with me the day before. 

"I like hunting, except for the shooting part/' I said. 

Freud said the love for hunting was a residue of the old 
hunting instinct from which men once lived; in modern times 
it seemed superfluous and sometimes simply barbarous. 
"Sadism is all right in its place/' he concluded, "but it should 
be directed to proper ends." 

I ran out of conversational material, but Freud again re- 
minded me I was to talk of simply anything science in- 
cludedthat occurred to me. "Otherwise/ 7 he said, "the anal- 
ysis would be of no value at all/' I spoke a little while of the 
new insulin treatment, and he said that showed at least 
where my interests lay. I then went on to speak of my analysis 
in retrospect. 

"We are approaching the end, and it may be worth-while 
to look back in review/' I said. I had heard more bad things 
about myself than good, and my spirits were perhaps damp- 
ened, but on the whole it looked as if I would leave the analy- 
sis as healthy as when I took it up. 

"But, you still have time for the funeral oration 
(Leichenredey said Freud. "We have another seven hours or 
so, and plenty can happen by then; all this simply shows that 
you are anxious to get it over with." 

"Or else/' I suggested, "I want to give you a chance to put 
in a few good words for me before it is over/' 

"That is not my business," said Freud. "I told you un- 
pleasant things about yourself to show you how honest one 
is in analysis/ 7 

"It is said of the people of Yorkshire/ 7 1 said, "that they al- 
ways tell the truth, provided it is unpleasant/' 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"Exactly," said Freud, "if it were merely pleasant you 
would suspect that it was just flattery/' 

"But if it is all too unpleasant, one suspects the motives 
too/' I said. "I sometimes get the impression that I must 
somehow be worse than other people." 

"Then you don't know what other people can be like/' 
said Freud. "I have told you one thing and another about 
yourself, but I do not wish to exaggerate its importance. It is 
true you have no palpable symptoms, but you have no right 
to be too proud of your health. Everybody has some slight 
neurotic nuance or other, and as a matter of fact, a certain de- 
gree of neurosis is of inestimable value as a drive, especially 
to a psychologist; and it is on the other hand possible to have 
strong character defects inside the limits of so-called health. 
... I feel sure, for example, that Ellis .must have some sex- 
ual abnormality, else he would never have devoted himself 
to the field of sex research. You might of course say the same 
of me, but I would answer that that is first of all nobody's 
business, and second of all it is not true. I was drawn to study 
sex by my study of neuroses it was years before the impor- 
tance of sex dawned on me. In fact on three separate occa- 
sions I had been told of the importance of sex in the neu- 
roses, without ever reacting to the suggestion/' Freud for the 
next twenty minutes told me in detail of his experiences with 
Charcot, Breuer, and others, exactly as he has told them in 
his Zur Geschichte der Psychoanalytischen Bewegung, repeat- 
ing Charcot's " la chose genitde toujours toujours 
toujours" with great dramatic emphasis, and reciting the ex- 
act Latin description at the end. But I was too annoyed with 
what he said about Ellis to be very attentive. He was not only 
wrong, so far as I knew, but he was being vulgar and unfair. 


"I hope," I said when I left, "that people won't speak of 
me as you speak of Ellis." 

Freud was by this time however deeply immersed in his 
own pasiv and simply shrugged his shoulders. 

January 23, 1935 

I had four dreams last night and told Freud about them. In 
the Erst, I made love to a girl friend of my brother's. 

"Was your brother present," asked Freud. 

"Fortunately, no/' I said. Freud laughed. 

In the second dream, I attempted to interest Stephen 
Spender (whom I had met some time before in Salzburg), 

Mrs. and a certain woman doctor in myself by talking 

about Freud. "He is in very fine condition," I said in the 
dream, but what I meant to say was, "He has a very fine in- 
telligence." The woman doctor in the dream said I used an 
awkward phrase, but I stuck to it and tried to justify myself. I 
said to Freud that I considered this an example of paraphasia 
in dreams, of the kind Kraepelin wrote about Freud said 
Kraepelin's paper was trash (einen Stiefel geredet) and it 
was just an ordinary slip of the kind he described in his Psy- 
chopathologie des Alltags; the organic factor was simply neg- 
ligible; there must be other factors involved. Freud at this 
point had again begun to tap on the head of the sofa, as he 
always did when he was impatient and displeased. 

In a third dream, I came upon a scrapbook full of literary 
essays by an ambitious acquaintance, Dr. B., written under an 
assumed name. This was an identification with myself for I 
hoped to write literary essays some time too, perhaps under a 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

In the fourth dream, I was slipping into my high school 
classroom late and with feelings of guilt, and hid myself in a 
corner seat out of the teacher's gaze. All I could say about this 
dream was that it suggested the discomfort I felt when Freud 
spoke as he did about Ellis. 

"It was just a supposition/' said Freud. "It is not the sort of 
thing I would write an essay on." 

I said that was the sort of lay opinion that made Ellis's life 
so difficult and cheapened his accomplishment. Freud then 
gave the reasons: I had said his wife was homosexual; be- 
sides, he had no children, and a man who makes so few judg- 
ments is suspect of being impotent. I insisted I never said his 
wife was homosexual; so far as I knew she wasn't* He had 
no children because his wife was diabetic besides, he was too 
poor; and as for the last argument, it was weak. Shakespeare 
made few judgments too he saw too many sides to an ar- 

Freud was angrier than I had ever seen him. He sputtered: 
"Do you know Shakespeare, then, as well as you know Ellis? 
Anyway, he was a poet, not a scientist/' Besides, what did I 
mean by now denying that his wife was homosexual? 

I could not say what I meant for I did not remember I 
could only suggest that a certain woman friend of his, who 
was heterosexual, once had a brief experimental homosexual 
period. If Freud had read the Ishill book in his waiting room, 
he could himself have seen from Ellis's little prose poem, "A 
Revelation," that he was not impotent. Freud had me go into 
his waiting room for proof, which I produced, but which did 
not satisfy him, for there was no clear evidence of a sexual 

* Freud must have acquired this information from another source, for with the 
later publication of Ellis's Autobiography, there appeared to be some justifica- 
tion for this characterization of Edith Ellis. 


act. "I would advise you to be more cautious (gewissenhaft} 
hereafter in your statements." 

"One can never be too cautious/' I said, 

January 24, 

Freud was remarkably friendly today and chatted pleas- 
antly as soon as I began to tell my dreams: they were con- 
cerned with traveling at high speed to a kind of barracks 
where Nazis were billeted, and the whole dream seemed 
rather tense and anxious. I suggested it all came from 
thoughts about the quarrel yesterday and thereupon, of 
course, the discussion was renewed. Freud emphasized that 
he did not mean to deprecate Ellis in the least: Ellis was a. 
wonderful man, etc., and he had the highest regard for him:. 
he had simply ventured a certain supposition based, as he 
now saw, on incorrect evidence, and he took it back. There 
was then some discussion back and forth about the actual 
statement, and the evidence, and so on. It seemed that I was 
especially prone to say inaccurate things in the course of an 
argument; it was a bad trait and I should exercise more cau- 
tion. I said I considered myself punished, and Freud said 
mildly I deserved it. 

"Everybody is liable to have some personal reason for choos- 
ing a particular field of work/' he said; "it is not a rule, but it 
is frequent." His daughter's ophthalmologist, for example, 
had trouble with his eyes, that was why he became an eye 

"It is also said/' I replied, "that psychiatrists are half-crazy, 
ought one to believe that too?" 

"There is a lot of truth to it," said Freud, "though Wagner- 
Jauregg is an exception he is perfectly normal." Freud then 
told me of how his friend Wagner-Jauregg was forced against 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

his will into psychiatry from his chosen field of pathological 
anatomy. "The result was/' said Freud, "that he limited his 
interest to the organic part of psychiatry, where he made very 
important contributions. . . ." 

"And would you say that most psychoanalysts are neurotic 
too?" I asked. 

"Many of them are, in fact a great many; only one can say 
that neuroses are so very widespread nowadays that the dif- 
ference is not very great. Besides, a certain amount of neu- 
rotic stuff gives a person the necessary interest and drive in 
his work/ 7 

I didn't like the idea of these group diagnoses, and said it 
makes it hard for a person to feel that he is in a marked 
group; it multiplies his conflicts: the Jews for example are 
more liable to neuroses because they are looked upon as in- 

"I am not so sure of that/' said Freud. "Gentiles have 
plenty of neuroses too. Only the Jew is more sensitive, more 
critical of himself, more dependent on the judgment of 
others. He has less self-confidence than the Gentiles, and is 
fresher has more 'chootzpa* too both come from the same 
thing. Jews are less sadistic than Gentiles, and the neuroses in 
general develop themselves at the cost of sadism: the more 
reckless a person is, the less neurotic. Besides, the Gentiles 
drown their neuroses in alcohol, and the Jew does not drink." 

Anyway, it was all disturbing and confusing, I concluded, 
and one wished that one could work without being bothered 
and distracted by personalities. 

"I am sick of fighting," I said, "and I don't know why we 
have so much of it." 

"For cultural reasons/' said Freud, but I am not sure I un- 



"If I were left alone," I said, "I would be the most harm- 
less of animals/' 

"And do you think you are the only one?" asked Freud. 

January 25, 1935 

Dreamed of making love to F., while her husband sat in the 
adjoining room with my own wife; this little touch, I sug- 
gested, preserved the equilibrium of my married life, and 
satisfied my sense of justice. My brother sat watching disap- 
provingly through the front door, and represented my own 
conscience. In a second dream, my wife and I passed B. and 
H. on the street, each of these with a girl, though H/s girl was 
B/s wife, Miriam. These latter two made love to each other, 
which embarrassed us, though B. attempted to take it lightly. 
The best I could do, by way of interpretation, was to sug- 
gest that my own contented married life was a pleasant con- 
trast to all this. 

Freud accepted the general interpretation, but said it was 
all too simple. "A dream ought not to be too simple," he said; 
"every dream ought to disclose a secret." 

I had recently seen a demonstration of hypnosis, and Freud 
told me how hypnosis was the phenomenon which first con- 
vinced him of the existence of the unconscious and stimu- 
lated the first growth of psychoanalysis. He told me in vivid 
detail of the demonstration of Bernheim at Nancy, especially 
of the phenomenon of post-hypnotic suggestion. Bernheim 
had told a man, for example, that he would open an umbrella 
and walk around the room with it on awakening which the 
man did, and then attempted to explain rationally: he just 
wanted to see if the umbrella was intact. When Bernheim in- 
sisted however that that was not the real reason, the man 
slowly and with difficulty finally said he was doing it upon 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

command; this proved to Freud that it was possible to elicit 
unconscious material by coaxing and encouraging a patient. 

"There has to this day/ 7 he said, "never been a better 
demonstration of the existence of the unconscious than the 
phenomenon of hypnosis. When philosophers talk about the 
impossibility of the unconscious, one can only advise them to 
witness an hypnosis; but people don't want to be shown 
that is the way human beings are/' 

We talked for a while of various hypnotic physiological 
phenomena: catatonia, the production of blisters, anesthesia, 
pallor, etc. But Freud was not friendly to an emphasis on 
organic factors. "It is superfluous and gets us nowhere/' he 
said. Of hysteria, he said, "It is the one neurosis where the 
organic background is relatively insignificant/' 

We talked of hysterical fits, and I said the transition to real 
epilepsy is only gradual, and sometimes the two were alter- 
nate in an individual, or indistinguishable. Freud thought 
that merely showed the psychic factors in epilepsy were un- 
derestimated. "It used to be said/' he said, "that Dostoiesvski 
was an epileptic, but we now know that he was a genuine 
neurotic and merely had hysterical seizures." 

January 28, 1935 

I dreamed a simple sex dream, involving a little girl 
friend of C/s. "Since you suggested the triangle situation to 
me/' I said, "I have been making active use of it." In another 
dream, on the following night, I found myself in Moscow, 
which seemed very pleasant. I suggested that it was simply a 
Utopian dream, but Freud thought the interpretation was too 
thin. "There must be something more to it," he said. My talk 
waned, and I started repeating myself, wandered off into dis- 
cussions of one thing and another, and ended with a profes- 



sion of my love for music. I had just bought tickets to Don 
Juan and said it was one of my very favorite operas. 

"That is no wonder/' said Freud. "It is the greatest opera 
there is." 

January 29, 1935 

The conversation was lagging. I dreamed of walking with a 
friend of my brother's while he flirted with some girls a 
reminiscence from New York. Beyond saying it was a pleas- 
urable reminiscence, I could not revive much more pertinent 

I commenced again to talk of one thing and another, and 
ended up again in politics. A Communistic psychoanalyst had 
recently written that Freud had overlooked the importance 
of the class basis of society. "He exaggerates more than a lit- 
tle/' said Freud. Freud praised Marx for elucidating the ma- 
terialistic side of history "but people go too far with it/ 7 he 

"The same as with psychoanalysis/' I said. "As soon as a 
great discovery is made, it becomes popular and exaggerated, 
and there is more than a superficial resemblance between 
Marx and Lenin and their disciples, and Freud and the other 
so-called psychoanalysts/' 

Freud made no comment. I spoke of Trotsky, who had 
spent a number of years in Vienna. 

Freud said he knew he spent much time in the Cafe Cen- 
tral, in Adler's circle, but he had never met him. "Commu- 
nism and psychoanalysis go ill together," he said. 

I spoke of Walter Lippmann, who, Freud said, had once 
called on him. "He has a beautiful wife," said Freud. 

"What's your impression of him?" I asked. 

"That's not my field," said Freud. "He's an economist" 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

"But he has written books on morals and the like too/' I 

"I don't take them seriously/' he said. 

I talked some more of politics and wealth, and told him 
how they kowtowed to me at the big bank down the street 
when I wanted to cash a big check. 

"It's natural for banks to like people with money/' said 
Freud. "The trouble is, it happens outside of banks, too." 

And finally, as I was leaving, he said: "I don't think that 
Communism is the hope of the future. (Ich glaube nicht doss 
der Communismus das Heil der Zukunft ist.)" 

January 30, 1935 

I dreamed of calling on Dr. B. in his research laboratory 
back in New York and of seeing his cousin Dr. N. who was 
active as a surgeon. The dream suggested an interest in both 
kinds of work, and anticipated my return to America. During 
the rest of the hour I reviewed point for point the things I 
heard about myself in the analysis, starting with Freud's de- 
preciatory remarks about my abilities. Freud listened with- 
out much comment, except that he softened the effect here 
and there, and made the criticism seem purely objective. I 
then went over to his description of my character traits, and 
he again made little comment. I proceeded to the more inti- 
mate knowledge of myself and to some of my psychological 
tendencies. Freud said this was merely a description of my 
character type and ought not to be overestimated; it was a 
narcissistic deficiency which he could not explain. I went on 
to say that though he detected one or another distasteful ele- 
ment in my dreams, they seemed to me to be quite strong in 
their normal content. "Too strong in fact," said Freud. I 
therefore considered myself a fairly typical person in these 



respects. "That is quite possible/' said Freud. "But this kind 
of discussion/' he added, "does not fit into analysis really. 
Analysis tries to avoid every kind of suggestive influence and 
does not undertake to make judgments or give advice/' 

January 31, 1935 

I had met Stekel again briefly and again told Freud how 
highly Stekel spoke of him. "It is all a pose/' said Freud. "He 
plays the respectful disciple and meantime assumes the priv- 
ileges of a superior. He forgives me, so to speak, for all that 
he has done to me/' Freud then told me of the old fights, 
not only between himself and Stekel, but between Stekel and 
Freud's other pupils. One of these pupils (who since com- 
mitted suicide) set about to prove that Stekel was a liar, and 
according to Freud succeeded. 

"It is disconcerting to see so much animosity among scien- 
tists, and I do not look forward to having similar experi- 
ences," I said. 

"It is unavoidable," said Freud 7 "and one had best prepare 
oneself for it." 

"One would think," I said, "that differences of opinion 
should not prevent a friendly relation." 

"One ought to expect it, but it is unfortunately not so," 
said Freud. "But it is not the scientific differences that are so 
important; it is usually some other kind of animosity, jeal- 
ousy or revenge, that gives the impulse to enmity. The scien- 
tific differences come later." 

Since this was my last hour, I dreamed, appropriately 
enough, of saying good-bye to Freud in a friendly informal 
way. A grandson of his in the dream declared his intention of 
studying medicine, then analysis, but I told him, "The name 
of Freud is sufficient You don't have to do anything more." 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

In the dream I felt like a bad schoolboy, and I suggested that 
the guilt feelings came from the sense that I did not do well 
in the analysis. 

"What makes you think that?" asked Freud. 

"It is just my feeling/' I said. I summarized my feelings: 
in spite of things I had to hear about myself, I was glad that I 
had made the acquaintance of a great man "But," I added, 
"perhaps I ought not to use flattery/' 

"Go on/' said Freud. "One is free not only to go to the one 
extreme, but to the other too/' 

I said there was enough truth in what had been said about 
me to give food for thought. Of analysis, I had learned 
enough to understand its methods and techniques, and to 
value its scientific earnestness. 

"That is the main thing," said Freud. "I am glad," he went 
on, "that you have taken everything in this friendly spirit." 

In my dream, I asked Freud for a certain favor . . . per- 
haps a photo. "If you mean that seriously," said Freud, "I can 
only say though you may not believe me that I don't pos- 
sess any. But I have books and I would be glad to give you 
one before you leave." He then gave me a copy of his New 
Series of Psychoanalytic Lectures and wrote his name in, at 
my request. 

"I will just write the name," he said; "I do not usually like 

I said too that his views on socialism had been important 
to me and we spoke of that for a while. 

"I find capitalism quite satisfactory," said Freud. "I think 
the discovery of money was a great cultural advance; to re- 
turn to trade by barter is simply a slip backwards. To be 
sure, one ought to regulate the production and distribution 
of wealth more satisfactorily, but it is difficult for me to see in 



advance how that can be done. Perhaps we may have to await 
scientific advances before any real improvement is possible. 
The cost of Communism to intellectual freedom is too great. 
Communism means an intellectual dictatorship; it is not 
compatible with psychoanalysis because it is too dogmatic. 
Reich, a talented psychoanalyst, will probably have to leave 
the movement, because he has turned Communist and al- 
tered his views. He believes, for example, that the aggres- 
sive instinct and sex problems are products of the class strug- 
gle, instead of products of inborn biological drives/' Freud 
then spoke of the necessity of having a private room and the 
right to be alone occasionally. "That in itself is enough to 
make Communism impossible for me." 

I said that my father could never enjoy such privacy be- 
cause he had to work fourteen hours a day all his life in his 

"That need not be so bad/' said Freud. "It depends how 
he takes it. There are rich people who travel around all the 
time who are profoundly unhappy. I have not left my room, 
for example, for months. For years I used to take a walk 
every day from two to three o'clock after my coffee, but now 
I am willing to stay here, contented in my little prison." But 
Freud acknowledged the force and importance of Commu- 
nism. "It will take centuries, though," he said, "before its 
value can be extracted and enjoyed. Communism, like Chris- 
tianity, always promises the people a better world in the fu- 
ture, to repay them for their misery. The only difference is 
that Christianity promises it in another world." We chatted 
for a while longer, Freud sent his warmest regards and best 
wishes to Ellis through me, and wished me a good journey. 



SOON AFTERWARDS my wife and I moved homeward through 
Berlin. The burly porter at the Bahnhof told us that things 
were getting better in Germany, now that the Jews were be- 
ing ousted. We met friends and new acquaintances in hushed 
circles exchanging stories of new harassments and depreda- 
tions under the National Socialist regime; several were prepar- 
ing to leave the country. We visited a blond physician who 
headed a tuberculosis sanitarium on the outskirts of Berlin, 
dined with his fair-haired wife and four blond children, 
talking of trivialities until he accompanied us at dusk through 
the flat countryside to the station, greeting the passers-by 
with "Heil Hitler!/' confiding to us just before we left that 
he was deeply committed to the anti-Hitler opposition; but 
even his wife did not know. In London we again met Ellis 
and Madame Cyon, and then went home, to new work at Bel- 
levue, where I resumed my relationship to Dr. Schilder. 

Though Ellis was just recovering from a winter siege of 
illness, he remained alert and busy, and we maintained our 
correspondence, A visit to the opera where I saw Wagner's 



crooked dwarfs protecting the Rheingold suggested an anal- 
ogy, which Ellis then commented on: 

Wivelsfield Green 
Hayward Heath 

T% T March o, 103 c 

DEAR JOSEPH: y y:> ^ 

... It is satisfactory you do not regret your stay in 
Vienna, and the contact with Freud was invaluable whatever 
your opinion of him. When you speak of "the strenuous and 
crooked creatures bearing the precious Rheingold" I think 
you are symbolically describing what genius so often is. I 
have often referred to this aspect of genius (perhaps sug- 
gested to me by Hinton) its foundation in deformity, one- 
sidedness, unbalaijce, the ability to see the new thing accom- 
panied by the inability to see the old. You see I am not 
troubled by genius. When Olive Schreiner first knew me (I 
was 25) she thought I had genius; a few years later (without 
any change in regard for me) she came to the conclusion that 
I hadn't. Your Rheingold symbol is admirable. I don't mean 
that it would necessarily apply to all men of genius. There 
is, for instance, Einstein, one of the greatest, who seems quite 
harmoniously developed. Do you know Michaelis's book on 
"Freud"? Rather interesting and suggestive. He admits 
Freud's greatness, compares him indeed with Nietzsche, but 
emphasizes the "crookedness" and one-sidedness of his 
outlook, and regards him as a disappointed idealist who has 
taken to systematically repressing his idealism. 

... I wonder if you have seen Rank and detected his 
manic-depressive tendency! 

Affectionate regards in which Frangoise joins. 



Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

Soon after my return I had sent the complete batch of 
closely written index cards comprising my analytic diarjr to 
Meyer for his perusal. He read them eagerly and wrote: 

The Johns Hopkins Hospital 
Baltimore, Maryland 
May i, 1935 

. . . Your notes with Freud are one of the most naturally 
convincing and illuminating documents or memoranda that 
I could conceive of. It all rings very true to my own thought 
of Freud. Evidently, there was a great deal of surrender of 
dogmatism and a great deal of mutual frankness that forms 
a real contrast to a good many of the reports that one oc- 
casionally gets. I think you had a most interesting opportu- 
nity and you have used it well. Like so many other things of 
the kind, one regrets that there was not more of it and that 
some of the very vital claims could not have been discussed 
to the end. Somehow, I feel that the relationship between 
you gives a fair amount of justification for assuming that a 
good many highly dogmatic assumptions and conceptions 
would have been similarly liberally treated. . . . 

Most sincerely yours, 


At about this time I sent a brief farewell note to the aged 
Freud, to which he responded. 

Vienna, IX, Berggasse 19 
July 14, 1935 

It is true that your analysis with me was no immediate 
success [note that Freud used the English phrase]. But your 





Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

letter leads me to assume that it will have a good after-effect 
and will favorably influence your further development. The 
resumption of your relationship to Schilder will permanently 
protect you against the underestimation of psychological fac- 
tors in psychiatry. 

With best wishes, 

I wrote to ask Havelock Ellis if he wanted to see the notes, 
and he answered that he did. In September, with some mis- 
giving, since I valued Ellis's judgment so highly, I sent the 
complete diary on to him. 

September 10, 1935 

These are the day to day notes as they were written. I 
hope you can make out the handwriting, and do not find 
them too tedious. 


In October of 1935 our first child was born and we sent 
Freud an announcement. He answered graciously: "my greet- 
ings to the young citizen of the world!" 


Meanwhile I began to work at a few scientific papers of my 
own, and got deeply involved in the excitement of introduc- 
ing shock treatment in the U.S.A. Ellis was reading my Freud 
notes at a leisurely pace, and late in October wrote: 

24 Holmdene Ave. S.E. 24 
October 29, 1935 

... I have been reading more of your Freud notes and 
finding them extremely interesting, full of instruction and sug- 
gestion. And I am always much more in sympathy with your 
attitude than with Freud's. The notes seem to me a severe 
criticism of the technique. Like you, I cannot attach great 
importance to "repression" in a normal person and what may 
superficially seem so in a child is merely a secondary result of 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

the normal impulse of imitation. And I agree with you that 
what one says, if told to talk at random, is influenced, indeed 
completely controlled, by one's consciousness (and uncon- 
sciousness) of the person who is listening. Replace the listener 
and the talk would be completely replaced. . . ." 

And a few weeks later he wrote: 

December 2, 1935 


... I am still reading your Freud notes. They are most 

valuable, I suppose a unique record of Freud's technique, 

and must certainly be published, sooner or later, though not, 

I think, under your name. . . . 

Soon afterwards he wrote: 

February i, 1936 

... I continue to read your Freudian notes (as does 
Frangoise) with much interest, and wherever you differ from 
Freud I am nearly always on your side. 

There is one point, where I am concerned, at which Freud 
seems to have gotten into a muddle. He said that I wrote 
a letter of protest to him about a criticism of me written by 
Jones. But I am quite indifferent to criticism, and never in 
my life sent such a "protest" to anyone or even dreamed of 
doing so. I recall the real facts. Jones in his journal wrote a 
long review of my Vol. VII [of "Studies in the Psychology of 
Sex"]. I glanced at it, saw it was in his most superior and 



supercilious tone and never read it through; have not done 
so to this day. But Frangoise read it, and seeing that Jones 
had treated me as actively hostile to Freud, she thought that 
this might offend Freud, and on her own, wrote a note to F. 
to the effect that Jones had quite misrepresented my attitude 
to him (Freud). This was the supposed "protest" by me! It 
would of course have, anyhow, been absurd to send a protest 
to one man against a criticism written by another. 

But this letter is already too long. . . . 

Frangoise joins in affectionate greetings to you all. 


And finally, amidst many troubles and distractions, Ellis 

Wivelsfield Green 
jHaywards Heath, Sussex 
September 14, 1936 

I have finished reading the Freud notes with much inter- 
est, and, since the packet is rather awkward for mailing, Mrs. 

P , who leaves England this week, has kindly consented to 

take the packet to you and I have today sent it to her in an 
envelope fastened up and addressed to you, 

I consider the notes most valuable and that they ought^ 
some day, to be published, after Freud's death, and perhaps 
anonymously. They do not, however, reveal anything about 
you. Their value is that they constitute an analysis of Freud, 
and a precise revelation of his technique. I do not suppose 
that any similar record even if it exists will be published, 
as the ordinary patient would not of course care to give him- 
self away, not even anonymously. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

I am almost afraid that the notes might in a future age be 
regarded as a reductio ad absurdum of psychoanalysis: But, 
anyhow, they will be valuable. 

Various points crop up in the notes that I want to write to 
you about But they must wait awhile. I am busy trying to 

B~- 4 

fa <^/o- 

# J - ** 

^. / ) ^ 

K~ r ~ / * 
^^S^C;A^> p<~ ir 'y> 


settle up things, as we go to Cornwall early next week. . , <, 
Frangoise joins in affectionate greetings, 


- Two weeks later Ellis wrote from Cornwall: 

October 2, 1936 

We are spending a fortnight in Cornwall by the sea, near 
the Lizard, an old haunt of mine, and enjoying, strange to 
say, quite splendid weather, and we take what I call long 
walks (ten miles or so) and I am feeling very well, being 
always better for the sea. Frangoise also is at her best 

You will doubtless have safely received the Freud notes 
from Mrs. P. I think they constitute a valuable document, to 
be carefully preserved for some future use, as an illustration 
of Freud's technique. I noted a number of interesting points, 
and there seem to be contradictory statements. At one point 
F. says that dreaming thought is a continuation of waking 
thought; on another occasion that it is "essentially different/' 
To me it has always seemed that the dream processes the 
feelings and the logic are the same, but under new condi- 
tions and that makes all the difference. I accept the per- 
petually shifting scene, however absurd, presented to my 
dream consciousness, but I react to it with the same likes 
and dislikes, and the same logic, as in waking consciousness. 
The difference is great, but I doubt if it can be correctly 
termed essential. It is a difference simply due to dissociations 
which doubtless have a physiological foundation. Of course I 
would say that F. drives symbolism to death by assuming its 
existence everywhere. Symbols may enter into sleeping con- 
sciousness, as into waking consciousness, being based on re- 


Fragments of an Analysis -with Freud 

semblances, and of course they were recognized long before 
F. (Ferrero's almost earliest book, forty years ago, was on 
symbolism and I almost put it into my Science Series; Fer- 
rero came to see me about it.) But to say, for instance, as 
you represent F. saying, that falling in dreams is symbolic is 
not only improbable but merely freakish. My most pro- 
nounced experience of this is very ancient, but it lasted all 
night, so that I have never forgotten it. I was assistant to a 
doctor at the time, who gave me a large dose of chlorodyne 
on account of an attack of haematuria which I had 
contracted through standing in his cold surgery. All night 
long I was falling, falling, falling. No doubt F. could furnish 
a brilliant symbolic interpretation. But the real reason was 
the sensory anaesthetic effect of the drug mixture. In the 
slighter casual falling dreams that sometimes occur it is nat- 
ural to suppose that there has been some sensory pressure of 
the body in a cramped position acting similarly. The "fall- 
ing" is of course still a symbolism, but a rational symbolism, 
the absence of any realized contact, and the sense of space, 
produced by the anaesthesia, being symbolized by the falling. 
I wonder whether the extraordinary exuberance of psycho- 
analysts in fantastic ideas is not largely a manifestation of 
repression: a repressed artistic impulse here finding an escape 
which it regards as legitimate. F. was rather indignant (per- 
haps a suspicious circumstance!) when I once told him he was 
an artist But he is an artist! I sometimes feel I would like 
to sweep away all the existing psychiatries, and begin again 
on a strictly biological foundation. I am not sure that a good 
grounding in botany might not be the best approach to psy- 
chiatry. And the more or less complete absence of conscious- 
ness in plants should make it easier to resist some of the 
temptations that afflict the psychiatrist. A lot is now being 



learned about plants. And they act exactly as we should in 
their place, with the endless individual differences. Your 
notes, you see, are most suggestive! 

I am interested in F/s remarks about me, and not at all 
annoyed at the suggestion that my interest in sex was due to 
a perversion. It is precisely my own feeling about many sex- 
obsessed people, and it is often correct. But I am quite ready 
to accept F/s statement that it was not true of himself. 
Neither is it true of me! I was only sixteen when I resolved 
to make sex research a main object in my life. And I meant 
normal, not abnormal, sex. At that time my own experiences 
of sex were entirely confined to the distant worship of one or 
two girls and to emissions in sleep, which I found a worrying 
phenomenon. All the books I could see (I might say all the 
books that existed) on sex were superficial, prejudiced, fantas- 
tic, or goody-goody. Krafft-Ebing's book was first published 
just about that time, but I did not know of it till later and, 
anyhow, it would not have helped me, being nearly all patho- 
logical I knew nothing whatever about abnormal sex and was 
not interested in it. As regards my wife, she was not diabetic 
until the last years of her life, but was neurotic, and her 
constitution in various ways fragile, and before marriage the 
wise old physician in whom she had much faith had advised 
Her against having a child, and we adhered to this view, 
though at one time we were inclined to re-consider it. (My 
own spermatozoa looked quite healthy under the microscope!) 
As regards the "Revelation" in Impressions and Comments, 
F. is quite right; there is no coitus, real or assumed, in the 
narrative. The "Person" in question, I may now privately 
mention (though when she last came to see me she said, not 
long ago, that she no longer minded being recognized in it) 
is H.D. I had, in the first place, obtained her consent to print 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

it, with some difficulty, though she said, when I read it to 
her, that it was so beautiful it almost brought tears to her 
eyes, and it is generally considered by critics my finest piece 
of poetic prose. H.D. has told me that at that period I was 
an immense help to her I have never known why and she 
remains an affectionate correspondent. With regard to im- 
potence, F/s notion that it is associated with a lack of de- 
cision in intellectual judgments is new to me. The notion 
seems based on a false analogy. In most of the cases that 
come to me, the impotence is not due to any hesitation or 
lack of decision, but is a hyperaesthetic over-rapidity of nerv- 
ous reaction, reaching its climax before entrance is effected. I 
am accustomed to associate it with the excessive rapidity of 
nervous reaction marking the whole of our modern civiliza- 
tion; I don't imagine the stolid peasant easily becoming im- 
potent (Freud has himself somewhere ingeniously argued 
that with the growth of civilization the sexual instinct, both 
in men and women, will tend to be repressed and perhaps 
lead to the extinction of the race.) 

And if we do assume that impotence is more than an invol- 
untary nervous phenomenon, then what we would expect on 
the voluntary intellectual plane would be an Adlerian "mascu- 
line protest"! an over-emphasis of decision. Indeed it may be 
plausibly argued that this is just what we do find. There is 
some reason to suppose that Carlyle and Ruskin were impo- 
tent, and both of them are conspicuous in their emphasis of 
intellectual affirmation. 

I fear that to me your psychoanalysis of Freud seems 
rather damning! Indeed I am a little inclined to agree with 
McDougall about "the greatest figure in psychology since 
Aristotle" who is nearly always wrong! But I do not agree 
with McDougall that he himself anticipated Freud. That is 



absurd. Freud is an extravagant genius, McDougall is merely 

This is for me a long letter. But it is your notes which are 

Affectionately ever, 

I kept thinking about the content and meaning of my psy- 
choanalytic experience and thought for a while of resuming 
my personal analysis and joining the psychoanalytic move- 
ment. I discussed the matter with Dr. Meyer, who encour- 
aged me to continue. I wrote to the late Dr. A. A. Brill, Freud's 
translator and an early psychoanalytic pioneer, who answered 
(December 5, 1936) : 

.... I certainly would agree with Dr. Meyer on your 
didactic analysis. In your place, I would make arrangements 
to continue it here. I will be very glad to cooperate with you 
on that matter. 

Cordially yours, 

But the exciting and promising demands of other work and 
interests, the scientific independence that my fellowship al- 
lowed, and a growing scepticism toward psychoanalytic doc- 
trine all led me from that line of development, and I found 
plentiful opportunities for useful work elsewhere. 

In March 1938 the Nazi armies marched into Vienna. 
Soon afterwards, according to the New York Times, Freud's 
home was visited by the Nazi secret police and then by 
storm troopers. His passport was lifted. Freud's safety and 
life seemed threatened by this new barbarism and some of us 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

tried to bring some pressure of public opinion to bear upon 
the situation. At Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital a statement 
was prepared and signed by nearly every member of the staff, 
from the director down, and forwarded to the President of 
the American Psychiatric Association, to our State Depart- 
ment and to the German Embassy: 

We members of the staff of Bellevue Psychiat- 
ric Hospital of New York City earnestly request 
the American Psychiatric Association to record in 
the name of American psychiatry its vehement pro- 
test at the brutal treatment of the aged scholar Pro- 
fessor Sigmund Freud by the Nazi invaders of Vi- 

Among the thirty-five signers of the statement were: Drs. 
Karl M. Bowman, Paul Schilder, Lauretta Bender, Frederic 
Wertham, Walter Bromberg, David Wechsler and Frank 
Curran. The President of the American Psychiatric Associa- 
tion thereupon issued this statement for transmission, through 
our State Department, to the German Foreign Office: 

Speaking in the name of American psychiatry for 
2,000 American psychiatrists, I voice our earnest 
hope that everything possible be done to protect 
Professor Sigmund Freud of Vienna from disturb- 
ance. Professor Freud, who has contributed so mag- 
nificently to medicine and to the welfare of human- 
ity, is a sick old man: His hundreds of friends in 
America are deeply concerned about him, beg that 
every consideration be given him and that his home 
be kept peaceful. 

i So 


In May, Freud, after a payment of a huge ransom by Ma- 
rie Bonaparte, was allowed to leave Vienna for his beloved 
England. Ellis, meanwhile, in failing health, had moved out 
of London to Suffolk; Ellis and Freud exchanged a few more 
letters but never met. I made a short visit to England in 
1938 to see Ellis once again, was also tempted to visit Freud, 
but felt hesitant about bothering him. Ellis wrote to me in 

Cherry Ground 
Hertleshorn, No. Ipswich 
August 6, 1938 

.... I have not been able to see Freud, though he has 
asked me to come. He is unable to go out but seems pleased 
to see visitors. His address is, as you may know, 39 Els- 
worthy Road, N.W. 3. I don't think you would bother him. 

Yours ever, 

I decided, however, against seeing him, and returned home 
soon after. 

Ellis died in July, 1939. Two months later Freud died, 
worn out by prolonged illness, but spared the additional pain- 
ful experience of living through another and more terrible 
world war. Meyer retired in 1940, and soon afterwards was 
disabled by his fatal illness. Schilder, Stekel, Rank, Adler, 
Brill all passed on. A new generation of psychiatrists moved 
forward, with no one to lean upon any longer but themselves. 


Retrospect and Conclusion 

How WOULD I characterize my relationship to Freud? Freud was a 
person of resolute honesty, motivated not only by an intense scien- 
tific curiosity, but by a high level of human feeling as well. He had 
learned to be a fearless fighter, and fought hard even when there 
was nothing to fear. A young man coming to him from so far and 
under such grand auspices, who cockily rejected him, must have 
been peculiarly provocative. Old age and many infirmities had 
already depleted his energies and probably contributed to his 
irritability. Nevertheless I think that if I could have accepted his 
scientific creed I would have enjoyed his friendship, and would 
have gravitated toward a professional career of considerable con- 
venience and comfort. 

Though I approached the analytic experience with scepticism, 
my attitude towards it was frankly curious and I was willing to be 
shown. The series of inept and inappropriate interpretations early 
in the analysis (that a house represents the womb, that a stage 
-show represents coitus, etc.) and the general foraging in a false 
direction indicated to me as the analysis went on that I was not 
likely to get any deep or valid insights from it. Actually I think 
a dividing of the ways came at about the middle period of the 
analysis when I began to realize that people by and large must 
work their problems out in the arena of real life and action and not 

Fragments of an Analysis "with Freud 

by endless probing into the reaches of an obscure unconscious 
repository of instincts and childhood repressions. There is no doubt 
that Ellis strongly reinforced my resistance. The trouble basically 
however was that I could not accept Freud's scientific views be- 
cause both his approach and his conclusions were suspect to me. 
This is not to say that in many matters, great and small, he was not 
right (as he certainly was in many of his comments to me), but the 
psychoanalytic structure as a whole seemed rickety, infirm and 
without solid foundation. To those who may be quick to conclude 
that it was the personal difficulties which led to these scientific 
differences, I would simply say that basically it was the scientific 
differences that caused the difficulties. 

This intimate account of conversations with a great man, of 
comments heard in the unguarded moment, no doubt has its 
interest and appeal to those who want to know what Freud was 
really like. The record easily revives my own vivid recollection of 
the old man, but much of it still bores and bothers me: the bicker- 
ings and repetitions, the sensitivities and apprehensions and the 
rude exchanges now offend my sense of propriety, and make me 
wish we had behaved better. Yet under the circumstances I do not 
know how I could have done differently; the picture of an uncer- 
tain, sceptical, stubborn, but candid and serious youth stands as 
it was, true to the facts. I resist the temptation to be drawn into 
a defense of that record: let others do so if they wish. It must be 
conceded that the level of disputation maintained during the 
analysis cannot meet scientific standards nor settle the issues in- 
volved. It seems worth while, however, to note some of these 
weighty scientific issues that stare you in the face on nearly every 

There is the bold assertion of Freud's that the scientific objec- 
tions to psychoanalysis rise from the subjective fears and failings, 
largely unconscious, of the critics. 



There is the constant concern and preoccupation with uncon- 
scious material, and relative neglect of consciousness, of the vicissi- 
tudes of daily life, of experience. 

There is the explicit belief in the importance of biological instinct 
endowment, of the universality of innate bisexual drives, of aggres- 
sive impulses, and even of an inherited propensity for hunting, for 
the use of certain dream symbols, etc. 

There is the conviction that social feeling and social integration 
derive from sublimated sexuality, rather than from mutual inter- 
dependence and economic need. 

There is the acceptance of male dominance, and of female sub- 
jection, on biological grounds. 

There is the historical pessimism and low estimate of man, also 
on biological grounds. 

There is the great concern with dreams, as the true indicators 
of the unconscious, and of the true nature of the subject. 

There is the belief in the wish theory of dreams, in the univer- 
sality of certain dream symbols, and in the validity of free associa- 
tion in interpreting symbols. 

There is the preoccupation with the transference. 

There is the belief in mental telepathy. 

There is the conventional morality. 

Overriding everything else, there is the basic psychoanalytic con- 
viction that the personal subjective and internal factors are more 
important for the understanding of both the individual and his 
society than the objective and impersonal: it is man with his poor 
and blind endowment of unconscious biological drives who makes 
history and not the social processes of history or of experience 
which make man. 

Any single one of these propositions is worth an essay or a treatise, 
and the whole subject of psychoanalysis deserves much fuller treat- 
ment than this book allows. The issues cannot be decided by an 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

easy appeal to the experts, because the experts disagree. Readers 
who wish to inform themselves more fully on the scientific differ- 
ences involved will have to read Horney, Fromm, Pavlov, Schneirla, 
Sears, Bartlett, Sherif, Cantril, and many others. In the years since 
Freud's death the fortunes of the psychoanalytic movement have 
prospered and waned in different parts of the world (and lapsed 
in certain countries completely); yet psychoanalysis is now enjoy- 
ing a greater influence and prestige in contemporary America than 
it has ever had elsewhere before. A wider participation of thought- 
ful people in the discussions will promote more clarity in this area 
and help resolve the disagreements. 

My own attitude toward psychoanalysis took more definite shape 
as my experience enlarged in the ensuing years. When, after my 
return to this country, I thought of resuming my analytic training, 
I well knew that my contacts with Freud would be regarded in 
my profession as an auspicious start. I was also tempted to think 
that the differences in point of view that were emerging among 
American psychoanalysts would favor a more liberal attitude to- 
ward individual opinion than Freud was able to evince. But the 
cleavages in the American movement soon took sharper form. 
Schilder was forced to leave the Psychoanalytic Society in New 
York, and was followed afterwards by Karen Horney and her pupils. 
At least half a dozen more or less distinctive psychoanalytic group- 
ings began to take organizational form on the local scene. For a 
period I felt that Karen Horney was supplying a refreshing new 
social emphasis, but later I came to think that she too maintained 
the essential errors of the psychoanalytic tradition, without the 
attraction of Freud's original and fascinating subtlety of formula- 
tion and invention. In 1945 I contributed a critical essay on 
"Freudianism and the Psychoanalytic Tradition" to the American 
Journal of Psychiatry, which represented, in brief, my attitude 



toward the subject at that time. I might now modify some of 
those conclusions in detail, but still believe the critique is basically 
correct. To round out the record, it seems proper to conclude with 
some such brief credo of my current views: 

Psychoanalysis certainly reflected a fresh and useful point of view 
when it first emerged as a scientific movement half a century 
ago. At a time when psychiatry was bogged down as a science and 
had become much too interested in merely labeling and classifying 
psychological disorders, psychoanalysis boldly sponsored a new 
individual and biographical approach to the understanding of 
psychological problems. It opposed the harmful habit of looking 
upon these disorders as something fatally or mysteriously fixed and 
static, and depicted individuals in their process of growth and of 
change, molded by their endowments and past experiences, and 
spurred on by their peculiar drives. Freud presented a kind of 
dialectical picture of personality, as composed of many conflicting 
tendencies, both good and bad, and scorned the simpler formulas 
of common parlance, or of the fashionable science of his time. 

Psychoanalysis thus helped develop a new science of mental 
function psychology at a time when psychiatry was dominated 
by the mechanical materialism of the pathological anatomists, or 
the experimental laboratory interests of the early psychologists. It 
strengthened scientific materialism at a time when religious ideal- 
ism was influencing certain schools of psychiatry. In those early 
days it encouraged a spirit of therapeutic optimism instead of the 
fatalism or nihilism then prevailing. It helped shatter the taboos 
against an examination of sexuality and the family. It made a 
penetrating and subtle analysis of many psychological mechanisms 
that had been previously neglected or unknown: repression, pro- 
jection, sublimation, regression, transference, reaction formation, 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

etc. It presented a realistic picture of many sordid aspects of the 
contemporary personality and family. It accumulated a vast wealth 
of observational data on human personality. 

Freudianism however did not escape the influence of its own 
social and historical origins and had certain basic defects from the 
very beginning, which at first impeded its development and later 
led the psychoanalytic movement into theoretical formulations 
and attitudes which cannot be regarded as valid or useful. 

The only honest and proper way to criticize a scientist is to take 
his data or his conclusions piece by piece and prove them true or 
false. Since we cannot do that now, I can only summarize what I 
think have already been proven to be the basic failings of Freud's 
theories. In essence they reduce themselves to his failure ade- 
quately to recognize man as a social animal, whose qualities and 
drives are quite unlike those found in non-social organisms. Freud's 
persistent interest in reducing human thought and behavior to 
innate instinctive drives, or to early childhood fixations or repres- 
sions, or to the operation of an unconscious that makes no contact 
with reality all of this, and much besides, has led Freudianism into 
more and more abstruse and mystical formulations that have not 
only confused both social and psychological issues, but have even 
prevented psychoanalysis itself 'from making a suitable self-exam- 
ination of its own social origins and significance. But if we look 
over a few psychoanalytic beliefs or formulations, their social im- 
plications (and social origins) can easily be detected. For example: 

i. Psychoanalysis believes in the preponderant influence of the 
unconscious. Freud believed that the behavior of people, in general, 
is not motivated by a correct and realistic appraisal of an actual 
situation, but essentially by innate instinctive drives, modified by 
early experience (in the first years of life) and only slightly influ- 
enced by later experiences. So far as any particular situation is 
concerned the behavior of people must be regarded as irrelevant 



and irrational. According to one prominent psychoanalyst, Erich 
Fromm ? for example, the German people when threatened with 
fascism identified their fascist leaders with their fathers and yielded 
to them: ". . . Many of the adherents of the leftist parties, 
although they believed in their party programs as long as the 
parties had authority, were ready to resign when the hour of crisis 
arrived. A close analysis of the character structure of German 
workers can show one reason certainly not the only one for 
this phenomenon. A great number of them were of a personality 
type that has many of the traits of what we have described as 
the authoritarian character. They had a deepseated respect and 
longing for established authority." (Escape from Freedom, pp. 

For adults the Freudians believe in the ascendency of outworn 
unconscious ideas over actual situations. For children they believe 
in the ascendency of instinctive drives over actual situations. In 
both cases the Freudians assume an ascendency of ideas over the 
realities of a situation. Many people nowadays have come to see 
that it is not primarily the ideas of men that determine their way 
of life but, on the contrary, the mode of their existence that 
determines their ideas. Freudianism believes in exactly the opposite 
relationship. In a typical passage Freud declares: "It is quite im- 
possible to understand how psychological factors can be overlooked 
where the reactions of living human beings are involved; for not 
only were such factors already concerned in the establishment 
of these economic conditions, but, even in obeying these condi- 
tions, men can do no more than set their original instinctual 
impulses in motion their self-preservative instinct, their love of 
aggression, their need for love, and their impulse to attain pleasure 
and avoid pain. . . . For sociology, which deals with the behavior 
of man in society, can be nothing other than applied psychology/' 
(New Introductory Lectures, p. 244.) 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

Thus Freud not only neglected the social situation as a motive 
for behavior, but stood everything on its head by regarding social 
situations as the expression of people's ideas or unconscious striv- 
ings. From this point of view, war, for example, is the expression 
of aggressive instincts, and social feeling the expression of latent 
sexual feeling. 

2. As a result of Freud's conviction that outworn, unconscious 
ideas dominate action, his scientific method for understanding 
human behavior is overconcerned with retrospection and rooted in 
a narrow biologism. That is, he is much preoccupied with un- 
ravelling an individual's past, and in evaluating the strength and 
interplay of his instinctive biological drives. This retrospective and 
biological interest is fostered as we have just seen at the expense 
of sociological interest. In actual treatment of an individual case 
this means intensive biographical investigation and personality 
probing and dissection with only cursory attention to the problems 
of conduct and practical life. As a result of this concern with the 
past and with the world of ideas, psychoanalysis has become too 
descriptive and abstract: a great deal of space and attention is de- 
voted in its literature to descriptions often very acute and subtle 
of the devious complex ways in which ideas become interrelated 
or changed by their impact on each other. Much of the fascination 
of psychoanalysis lies in this skillful pursuit and capture of chang- 
ing or developing ideas, a pursuit which too often loses its relation 
to the hard facts of life, and affords a kind of relief to the patient 
which is not basic and therefore not sustained. 

3. Freudianism has a social orientation that is much too narrow. 
Though it sometimes disclaims any interest in morals or ethics, 
it has an implicit acceptance of most contemporary middle-class 
standards. This is revealed in its attitude toward women, in its 
notion of what is normal, in its standards of success and failure, 
in its attitude toward social progress, and in its fundamental 



pessimism. It is true that the psychological level of integration 
has its own independent laws, and justifies a separate scientific 
discipline, but the psychological level stands in constant and in- 
timate interrelationship to both physiology and sociology, with 
influences moving back and forth between all levels. Freudianism, 
which arose as a progressive influence at a time when psychiatry- 
was dominated by the mechanical material interests of the patho- 
logical anatomists, has almost completely lost interest in the mate- 
rial physiological basis of mental function, and has gone over to 
the other great extreme of depicting all nervous disorders as psycho- 
logical problems, and even in regarding many organic diseases as 
mainly psychological disorders. The current interest in "psycho- 
somatic" medicine is dominated by this Freudian point of view, 

In relation to the social advance toward a better life it can 
therefore be said that the psychoanalytic tradition is characterized 
by certain evasive or reactionary tendencies. It is fascinated by the 
past at the expense of the present, and imputes excessive at times 
almost magical powers to the force of analytic insight, at the 
expense of action. Although the whole range of schools of psycho- 
analysis recognize to some degree the interdependence of social 
relationships and ideas, the psychoanalytic tradition always greatly 
overvalues the primary influence of ideas. To make matters worse 
it endows ideas with an abstract independent existence, as "in- 
stincts," or makes them relatively independent by relating them 
to experiences long past, or derivative from an abstract cultural 
tradition. It minimizes the basic fact that ideas are derivative from 
social relationships, and are continually modified by changing 

As a consequence, psychoanalysis is very attractive to many 
troubled people who are unable, unwilling, or otherwise unpre- 
pared to undertake the action necessary for their social adjust- 
ment. It is no accident that psychoanalysis makes a particular point 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

of "being independent of ethical considerations and that psycho- 
analysts are often scornful of the kind of psychiatry that gives 

Even the more advanced psychoanalysts leave big loopholes for 
the orthodox point of view. A crucial point concerns the change- 
ability of human nature. The instinct theory makes human nature 
relatively fixed. But so does an undue emphasis on childhood 
experience. This aspect of psychoanalytic theory can be regarded 
as a scientific expression of the popular notion that the tree's 
inclined the way the twig is bent (which, by the way, does not 
accord with the botanical facts). "There is no doubt whatever/' 
wrote Horney (New Ways in Psychoanalysis, p. 152), "that child- 
hood experiences exert a decisive influence on development . . . 
with some persons this development essentially stops at the age 
of five, with some it stops in adolescence, with others at around 
thirty, with a few it goes on until old age." One of the more 
critical analysts, Bernard Robbins, for example, attacks another 
psychoanalyst, Franz Alexander, for his insistence on the biological 
origin of certain human attitudes, but in the course of his attack 
shares the assumption that neuroses are based upon childhood 
experiences. "The question is clear/' he wrote. "What are the 
conditions in infancy and childhood out of which neuroses evolve?" 
But cannot adult life induce neuroses? Other analysts discard the 
instinct theory, but regard the need for sexual gratification as a 
"basic biological drive," like hunger and thirst, and proceed to 
exaggerate its social function. This reminds one of the man who 
was a staunch vegetarian, except for veal cutlets, which he liked. 

As scientists and physicians it would be absurd for us to take 
the view that we are opposed to the analysis of neurotic symptoms. 
In the plain English meaning of the term analysis we certainly 
recognize the frequent necessity for the careful, detailed and pains- 
taking unravelling of mental symptoms or personal problems. We 



must also recognize that free association, slips of tongue, dream 
analysis, the understanding of symbols and of mental mechanisms 
are all invaluable aids to such analysis. But we do not regard the 
analysis as an end in itself. The end point of every analysis of a 
neurotic symptom should be an understanding of the social rela- 
tionships that both initiated and maintained the symptoms or 
disorder, or an understanding of the physiological derangement 
involved. In a few cases the mere understanding can bring enor- 
mous satisfaction and relief, but in most cases the analysis must 
lead to a line of action that would serve to adjust the social 
relationships or relieve the physiological derangement. The analysis 
in other words is a preliminary to treatment and is not in itself 
a treatment, just as historical analysis is a guide to social action 
but no substitute for it. 

A socially oriented psychiatry built on democratic standards need 
not limit itself to standards and criteria of a merely upper class 
psychiatry. It should not, for example, regard comfortable adapta- 
tion to a static social order as either a possible or desirable standard 
or psychotherapeutic goal. If frustration, bitterness, aggressiveness, 
and depression become the lot of a portion of our population under 
certain social conditions, we can at least reject the paraphernalia of 
terminology, mechanisms, apologetics and fatalisms that support 
the resignation of psychiatry to this kind of discontent. In practice, 
over and over again, much of our contemporary psychiatry tells the 
neurotics to seek within themselves the causes of their discontent. 
It thus cultivates the fiction of the isolated man, of automatic 
instincts unfolding with an inner energy, and obscures the true 
picture of man and personality developing within a social context. 
For this reason a socially oriented psychiatry must erect its own 
goals and describe its own standards. It must, moreover, shape its 
own tools to cope with the various kinds of discontent (not always 
dignified with the term neurosis) found in our society. The solid 

Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

basis for such an undertaking lies in a broad social orientation. In 
the face of real problems, a preaching psychiatry that tells its 
patients to "adapt themselves/ 7 or bases its appeal upon encourage- 
ment or exhortation is as empty as the appeals for popular morale 
would be in an unjust war. Likewise, a merely cathartic psychiatry 
that aims to divert or diffuse disturbing impulses into socially use- 
ful or neutral channels, tends to disregard the real origin of neu- 
rotic difficulties and the material basis for their transmutation. 
Lacking a solid basis, its value is bound to peter out as soon as 
the hard facts of life disturb the individual again. Our psychiatry 
must pay more than lip service to "social influences," "ego and 
super-ego problems," and "contributing situational factors." It is 
always timely for our psychiatrists to reexamine the philosophy 
underlying their activities, and to restate their basic convictions. 
To that end the following propositions may form a fruitful basis 
for discussion: 

Renewed emphasis must be placed on the material basis of mind, 
but mind must not be regarded as a phenomenon that can be 
studied in isolation, i.e., apart from its anatomical and physiological 
substrate and its sociological superstructure. We must not accept 
any picture of mind or consciousness which endows it with fixed 
or static qualities, for not only can human nature be changed, but 
it is in fact always in process of change. The nervous system may 
be regarded as primarily an integrative organ, mediating on the one 
hand between the other bodily organs and systems, and on the 
other hand mediating the connections between separate organisms 
in the social body. Deficiencies and disturbances in these integra- 
tive functions sometimes occur, and at times there may be a rela- 
tive incompleteness of integrative efficiency from brain injury, 
during coma, delirium, sleep, dreams, intoxication and the like. 
We need not, however, regard the products of deficient integration 
as more important, more characteristic or more cogent than the 



refined products of a more highly integrated function. In vino 
veritas, for example, is an untrue proposition. The partial, distorted 
and fragmentary revelations of intoxication may be significant and 
interesting, but the drunken man does not reveal his "true" per- 
sonality: he merely reveals the kind of personality he has when he 
is drunk. The same applies to sleep and dreams. The time has 
come to reassert the importance of conscious activity, in contrast 
to the enormous emphasis on the obscurities of the remote uncon- 
scious that has characterized Freudianism and its offshoots, It is 
not perhaps widely enough realized to what an extent Freud has 
belittled the significance of consciousness. The following passage 
from Freud's Interpretations of Dreams (Brill's translation, Mac- 
millan, N. Y., 1933, p. 56) is typical: 

"A return from the over-estimation of the property of conscious- 
ness is the indispensable preliminary to any genuine insight into 
the course of psychic events. As Lipps has said, 'the unconscious 
must be accepted as the general basis of the psychic life/ The 
unconscious is the larger circle which includes the smaller circle 
of the conscious, everything conscious has a preliminary uncon- 
scious stage, whereas the unconscious can stop at this stage, and 
yet claim to be considered a full psychic function. The uncon- 
scious is the true psychic reality: in its inner nature it is just as 
imperfectly communicated to us by the data of consciousness as 
the external world by the reports of our sense organs." 

With due regard to the limitations of physical endowment 
(which are also susceptible to change) it is, in the final analysis, 
social structure that determines human behavior together with the 
ideals and ideologies which motivate behavior. Without some form 
of social organization, personality as we know it would have no 
meaning or existence. Patterns of behavior, language, ideas and 
personalities, all owe their being to the social context in which 
they arise and cannot claim an independent existence. Man has 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

no fixed instincts of social behavior. Not even the pattern of normal 
sexual activity can be regarded as instinctive and innate: con- 
temporary normal patterns of sexual maturity owe their develop- 
ment to a social context in which the monogamous heterosexual 
family ideal is dominant. A socially oriented psychiatry need not 
assume the existence of innate inherent ideas related to social 
objectives. In this sense it rejects the inheritance of acquired 
traits, the inheritance of sexual antipathies or ideals, or racial 
loyalties, of a "collective unconscious/ 7 of ancient dream symbols 
and the like. 

Freud's dictum, "Thought is behavior in rehearsal/' (Das 
Denken ist ein Probehandeln] should be raised to the dignity of a 
central idea. All thought is inextricably bound to behavior: changes 
in behavior in the relation of one individual to others effect 
changes in thought; and conversely, disorders of thought produce 
disorders of behavior. The key to an understanding of social be- 
havior lies in an understanding of the organization of society of 
its productive relationships in general, and the individual working 
relationships in particular. These economic motivations of be- 
havior however should not be too narrowly regarded: individuals 
themselves are not always directly motivated by economic needs, 
for there is a large intervening area of group ideology, surviving 
tradition and past habit (all in complex interrelationship) lying 
between the laws of economic necessity and individual behavior 
in specific situations. 

Treatment of individuals should not be limited to talk alone. 
For one thing, the integrative apparatus, the nervous system, must 
be kept in good health, since disturbances in thought and behavior 
are often due to bad health, fatigue, tension and overwork. But 
for the great majority of people who look to psychiatrists for help 
it must be said that there can be no real mental health without 
a healthy harmonious working relationship to other individuals 



and to society as a whole. Psychiatrists should therefore emphasize 
the predominant importance of the family and social situation for 
the child, and of working conditions and social conditions for the 
adult. We wish to treat our patients in close collaboration with 
social workers or others whose interest and activity embrace the 
whole social milieu, and we share with social workers an imme- 
diate interest in the alleviation of unemployment, freedom from 
the threat of war, the provision of adequate food and shelter for 
all, the maintenance of all our liberties, the improvement of work- 
ing conditions, the provision of play facilities for children and 
of sport and cultural activities for adults, In security for the sick 
and aged, and in improved educational facilities for all. 

Certain psychoanalysts will enthusiastically support these objec- 
tives, but will add that so far as their patients are concerned we 
must make the best of society as it is. These "advanced" psycho- 
analysts picture our society as a fairly uniform culture, and picture 
the culture as a body of ideas permeating our society. They over- 
look the fact that a culture is not primarily a system of ideas, but 
a system of active social and working relationships, and that in 
our own society the individual has considerable freedom to choose 
the kind of relationship he wishes to assume toward others. In this 
sense there is more than one kind of culture in our society toward 
which the individual can exercise his freedom of choice. Personality 
problems which are engendered by experiences, social relationships 
and situations, are supported and changed by experiences, situa- 
tions and social relationships too. Those "advanced" psychoanalysts 
who acquire this insight are being forced step by step to deny the 
very premises upon which much of their professional activity de- 
pends. For if action and social relationships, work and working rela- 
tionships are the key to any fundamental therapy of personality 
disorders, obviously the psychoanalytic procedure is then no longer 
therapy, but rather a preliminary to therapy: psychotherapy then 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

becomes indistinguishable from elucidation or education, and these 
seldom require private tutoring arrangements. Common sense con- 
siderations, sound ethical values, good work for worthy ends, close 
identification with the popular forces of our democracy and con- 
stant exposure to their wholesome influence become basic. And 
insofar as mental disturbances are related to physiological dis- 
orders, psychoanalysis in the strict sense of the term tends to 
become less important too. 

The trouble is that most psychoanalysts find themselves deeply 
committed to certain psychoanalytic procedures, make their living 
from them, have developed certain organizational and institutional 
ties and have too often tended to isolate themselves from medical 
practice on the one hand and from popular movements on the 
other. A practicing psychoanalyst usually sees private patients with 
neurotic problems in isolation in his home, hotel or office, for one 
hour sessions, usually several times a week and over a period of 
months or years. It is mainly middle class and white collar elements 
who are attracted to psychoanalysts for help, and it is mainly these 
who can afford this type of treatment. Industrial workers are a 
distinct rarity in psychoanalytic practice. This unsatisfactory state 
of affairs has stimulated interest in a number of new developments 
in psychoanalytic circles: a closer interest in medicine (though in 
psychosomatic medicine the psychoanalysts meet medicine on their 
own terms), experimentation with more rapid forms of treatment 
(brief psychoanalysis) and group therapy. It is significant that 
under wartime conditions almost all practicing psychoanalysts who 
became Army or Navy psychiatrists soon devised or accepted new, 
quick techniques for the treatment of nervous disorders. The 
emerging demands of industrial psychiatry will require similar 
adjustments. But each new progressive advance involves either a 
dilution or contradiction of some Freudian principle. Psychoana- 
lytic theory, like many other things, has been exposed to many 



changes since the war. The psychoanalyst who accepts group 
therapy as a valuable new technique, for example, exposes himself 
at the same time to some refreshing influences emanating from the 
people. The analyst soon realizes that group* therapy can be most 
effective if combined with cooperative working relationships for 
useful ends and operated as a joint democratic enterprise. But 
this is no longer psychoanalysis but the good life itself. 

Neurotic complaints revolve about internal conflicts. Freud be- 
lieved the conflict is precipitated by the opposition between in- 
stinctive drives and the repressive demands of organized society. 
To Horney the conflict represented a clash between the demands of 
the present and the attitudes created by one's past. In reality 
neurotic conflicts are both engendered and maintained by the 
contradictory nature of the actual social relationships in which 
we are involved; they can be regarded as mental reflections of real 
relationships. The mental conflicts cannot be resolved until there 
is a corresponding resolution of these contradictory relationships. 
There is a time-lag involved in the change, to be sure, but it is not 
as great as some psychoanalysts suppose. 

A single brief case history can illustrate our point of view: Lady 
in the Dark. In this motion picture we were presented with an 
especially seductive psychoanalytic formulation and solution of a 
woman's problem in technicolor. The heroine is a business execu- 
tive who is depicted as unhappy (i.e., neurotic) because of the 
conflict between her unconscious wish to be a woman (i.e., 
passive) and to be successful in her career (i.e., to be masculine 
or active). She has repressed her innate femininity because of a 
childhood experience (scolded by her father for trying to be pretty 
like her mother) . This early experience is recalled to her by psycho- 
analysis; the picture ends when the lady who is now supposed 
to be no longer in the dark capitulates to her femininity and 
yields herself and her position to an aggressive man. 


Fragments of an Analysis with Freud 

Actually the lady's conflict did not lie in the past, but in the 
present: the conflict between business success and femininity is a 
real conflict created by the position of women in our society. 
This conflict is not resolved by submission to the orthodox pattern 
of femininity, and such submission should not be represented as an 
acquiescence to an overwhelming innate need. The psychoanalytic 
formulation of the film represents nothing but misstatement and 
gross evasion of a real and typical woman's problem, the solution 
of which lies very much in the realm of practical affairs. 

But this is only one particular type of problem, and there are 
many others. A consideration of social relationships is basic to an 
understanding of most of them, but it would be naive and mechan- 
ical to overlook the intricacies involved in this dependency. 
Although adult personality patterns are not rigidly fixed, it must 
be recognized that mature individuals have acquired a personality 
of their own, related to biological endowment, past experiences, 
ideological influences, varying individual and social pressures, long- 
range individual and group needs, and condition of health, in 
addition to their immediate social situation. Moreover, their per- 
sonality makes them react to their social situation in many com- 
plex and often contrary and bewildering ways. It is the main task 
of analysis to reveal these influences and to relieve the bewilder- 
ment that is characteristic of the neurotic development, so that 
effective action can follow. The complexity of the processes in- 
volved is, however, too often exaggerated. Most people are going 
to get relief from their unhappy conflicts by a change in their 
social relationships and social functions; even the analyzed patients 
will not escape the necessity of maintaining wholesome social rela- 
tionships too. The transition to wholesomeness may be rather diffi- 
cult for some people, and practically impossible for a few, unless 
there are strong incentives for doctor or patient or both to expend 
the time, care and patience required for the change. 



These broad considerations are intended to apply to the general- 
ity of people, and not to the exceptional few. The great prevalence 
of anxiety emphasized by one contemporary psychoanalytic school 
is surely the reflection of the sense of insecurity that isolated in- 
dividuals must feel in a society that is -at times too harshly com- 
petitive. The correct antidote is a consolidation of social feeling 
with those broad sections of our population that have the need 
for real social solidarity. The mere activity of participation in 
cooperative work for socially useful ends is therapeutic. It creates 
moreover the preconditions for a successful advance of our democ- 
racy to larger social objectives. It is only the realization of these 
social objectives that can secure full happiness and mental health 
to our people. Psychoanalysis after a long and devious detour will 
sooner or later have to base itself on these fundamentals which 
it sought for a while to evade. Meanwhile the fuller elaboration 
of a truly scientific psychology remains an important present task. 



Adler, Alfred, 11, 130, 161, 178, 


Alexander, Franz, 194 
Aristophanes, 123 
Aristotle, 178 


Bartlett, Francis H., 188 
Bauer, Julius, 54, 94, 139, 141 
Bechterev, V. M., 57 
Bender, Lauretta, 180 
Bernheim, Hippolyte, 159 
Bing, R., 93 
Bolsheviki, 56 
Bonaparte, Marie, 181 
Bowman, Karl M., 180 
Breuer, Joseph, 154 
Brill, Abraham A., 179, 181 
Bromberg, Walter, 180 
Browning, Robert, 52 
Bumke, Oswald, 29 
Busch, Wilhelm, 90 

Cajal, Ram6n y, 89 
Calverton, V. F., 28 
Campbell, Ross McFie, 180 
Cantril, Hadley, 188 
Carlyle, Thomas, 178 
Carpenter, Edward, 148 

castration complex, 91 
character disorders, 54 
Charcot, Jean Martin, 11, 138, 

1421, 154 
Chubb, Percival, 3 
coitus, 85, 147 
Collier, J., 6 

communism, 32, 59, 161 
conditioned reflex, 49, 52 
Curran, Frank, 180 


Darwin, Charles, 84 

Doolittle, Hilda, 28, 87, 1771". 

Dostoievski, Feodor M., 137, 

dreams, 32!, 39, 42, 45, 5if., 
59, 66fL, 72f., 77, 80, 
85]:., 88, 94f., 99, 101, 
109, 113, 116, 119 124^, 

^ *37* *39> M 1 ' M9 
ijjf., 1591,, 162 

Dukas, Paul Abraham, 25 


Eastman, Max, 21 

Eckermann, Johann Peter, 58 

Einstein, Albert, 87, 143!, 167 

Ellis, Edith, 156 

Ellis, Havelock, vii, iff., 6f., 28, 
331*., 4of., 47, 49, 53, 63, 
65, 67, yof., 74!, 87, 89, 



9lf., 1O2, 12off., 156, 

166, 171, 172, 181, 186 
on the analysis, 174 
death of, 181 
on didactic analysis, 11 
on dreams, 175!:. 
on Freud, 11, 1715., 176 
on homosexuality, n8. 
on impotence, 178 
on Jones, 1721". 
letters, iff., loff., 461*., 6yf., 

113, n8f., 132, 167, 

lyiff., 181 
on Rank, 47 
on sex, 177 
on Stekel, 29 

Ferrero, G., 176 
Fournier, Jean Alfred, 143 
Freud, Anna, 14, 16 
Freud, Sigmund, 

on Adler, 130 

on America, 86, no, 145 

on Americans, 24 

on American women, gSff. 

on being an analyst, 128, 152 

on analytic method, 20, 66 

analyzes a case, 1 50 

on analyzing a neurotic, 18 

on autobiography, 122 

on bisexuality, 97 

on bourgeois science, 59 

on capitalism, 164 

on character and talent, 129 

on Charcot, 143 

on Christianity, 165 

on communism, i6if., 165 

on conditioned reflexes, 52 

on conventions, 104 

death of, 181 

on didactic analysis, 73, 115 

on discovery of cocaine, 72 

on his dog, 76 

on dreams, 32^., 35, 39^, Szf. 9 
85f., 88, 93fL, 99, 102, 

112, 125f. 

on Ellis, 30, 44f., 64^, 9 if., 
i2ofL, 129, 154, 157 

on Einstein, 146 

on England, 70 

on Anna Freud, 16 

on Goethe, 142 

on being a genius, 142 

on government in business, 

his health, 10 

on heterosexuality, 90, 122$. 

on Hirschfeld, 41, 117^, 147 

on homosexuality, 55f., 71, 
87, 9ofL, 97, 9gf., ii8f., 
i22fl., i34f., 150 

on hunting, 153 

on hysteria, 160 

on inheritance of acquired 
characteristics, 84, 135 

on insulin shock therapy, 132 

on Jewish question, 70, 144$:. 

on Jews, 70, 158 

letters, 7, 13:0% i68ff. 

on making decisions, 92 

on Marx, 161 

on meaning of numbers, 67 

molested by Nazis, 179^ 

on money matters, 19, 48, 56, 
151!., 162 

on monogamy, 42 

on music, 25 

on neuroses, 54, 57, 63, 138, 

on neuroses in working classes, 

on old age, ijof. 

on organic factors in psychi- 
atry, 53, iiof., 138 

on his personal life, 121 

on perversions, 123, 124, 148 

on phobias, 37^ 

on the proletariat, 106 



on psychoanalysis under so- 

cialisni ? 152 
. on psychoanalytic cure, 64 

on psychoanalytic practice, 

on psychology, 44, 46 

on receipting a bill, 62 

on resistance, 22 

on reviving a neurosis in anal- 
ysis, 61 

on Rank, 121 

on Reich, 106 

on Russia, 108 

on sadism, 153 

on Schilder, 94, 13 if. 

on schizophrenia, 27, 29 

on self criticism, 92 

on his self analysis, iyf. 

on sex impulse, 122 

on sex relations, 150 

on social conflict, 130 

on socialism, 107, 164^ 

on Stekel, 30, 41, 45, 118, 
142, 147, 163 

on syphilis and neuroses, 133 

on telepathy, 40 

tells a story, 101, 108, 114, 
128, 134 

on therapeutic value of analy- 
sis, 111 

on the transference, 64 

on transvestitism, 134^ 

on the unconscious, 103, 127, 

on Wagner-Jauregg, 157^ 

on women, 151 

on his writing habits, 152 

on Zionism, 146 
Fromm, Erich, 188, 191 

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 

34, 92, 104, 142 
Goldberg, Isaac, 28 
Golgi, Camillo, 89 


Haldane, J. B. S., 6, 85 

Hall, G. Stanley, 28, 102 

H. D., see Doc-little, Hilda 

Hinton, James, 167 

Hirschfeld, Magnus, 41, 

Hitler, Adolf, 166 

Holmes, Gordon, 6 

homosexuality, 2, 38, 52, 55, 56, 
68, 69, 71, 85, 86, 87, 88, 
90, 93, g6fl., 100, 149^ 

Horney, Karen, 188, 194, 201 

hypnosis, 159 


insulin shock therapy, 127, 138, 

140, 170 
introversion, 51 
Ishill, Joseph, 28, 156 


Jesus, 12 

Jews, 143^., 158, 166 
Jones, 'Ernest, 65, 172^ 
Jung, Carl Gustav, 11, 47, 51, 


Kant, Emanuel, 149 
Koller, K., 72 
Kraepelin, Emil, 155 
Krafft-Ebing, Richard von, 177 
Krauss, Friedrich S., 41 
Kretschmer, Ernst, 52 

Lamarckism, 84 
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyitch, 161 
Leonardo da Vinci, 24, 148, 149 
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, 109 
Lewis, Aubrey, 6 
Licht, Hans, 119 
Lippmann, Walter, 16 if. 
Lourdes, 138 




Maillol, Aristide, 102 
Malinowski, Bronislaw, 28 
Mapother, 6 

Marburg, Otto, 45, 69, 141 
Marx, Karl, 161 
McDougall, William, iy8f. 
Menzel, A. F. E. von, 149 
Meyer, Adolf, vii, i, 3, jf., 12, 
59, 109, 179, 181 

letters, ^L y 14!., 115!., 168 

on Freud, 14 
Michaelis, 167 


Napoleon Bonaparte, 54 
Nietzsche, Friedrich W,, 12 


Obersteiner, 89 
O'Neill, Eugene, 43 
Ortega y Gasset, Jos6, 47 

Pavlov, Ivan Petrovitch, 188 

Pettenkofer, Max von, 133 

Pfister, O., 17 

Plato, 124 

Potzl, Otto, 71, 141 

psychoanalysis, 55, nof, 138 


Rank, Otto, n, 46, 121, 181 
Reich, Wilhelm, 106, 165 
Robbins, Bernard, 194 
Rolland, Romain, 87 
Rous, 53 

Ruskin, John, 178 
Russia, 42, 97, 106 

Sakel, Manfred, no, 112 
Schilder, Paul, i, 39, 94^, 101, 

131, 133, 137, 166, 180, 

181, 188 

schizophrenia, 52, 103, 140 
Schneirla, Theodore C., 188 
Schreiner, Olive, 167 
Sears, R. R., 188 
Shakespeare, William, 80, 1 56 
Shaw, Bernard, 102, 147 
Sherif, Muzafer, 188 
socialism, 42 
Socrates, 149 
Solomon, King, 105 
Spender, Stephen, 155 
Steckel, Wilhelm, 29, 30, 41, 45, 

117, 118, 140, 141, 142, 

147, 163, 181 

telepathy, 40 
Trotsky, Leon, 161 


Wagner-Jauregg, Julius, 157 
Wechsler, David, 180 
Weininger, Otto, 87 
Wertham, Frederic, 180 
Westerrnark, Edward, 122 
Whitman, Walt, 148 
Wilde, Oscar, 124 
Wilson, S. A. Kinnier, 6 
Woodworth, Robert S., 28 
Wortis, Joseph, letters, 

i4of., 170 
on psychoanalysis, 1858:. 



JOSEPH WORTIS, born in Brooklyn,, entered New York University 
with both state and college scholarships. He majored in English 
and also took science courses, in preparation for medicine. This he 
studied abroad in Vienna, Munich, and Paris and -was graduated 
from Vienna Medical College in 1932. After interning at Bellevue 
Hospital, he received a fellowship in psychiatry under the joint 
guidance of Havelock Ellis and Dr. Adolf Meyer. Thus he studied 
in London and again in Vienna, during which time this manu- 
script was originated. 

Back in America in 1935, he introduced shock treatment to this 
country and for several years managed a treatment ward and re- 
search laboratory in Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital. After that he 
was assistant in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical Softool, phys- 
iological investigator at the Aviation Research Laboratory, College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and assistant 
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University. 

During the -war, he served as Chief Psychiatrist in New York for 
the War Shipping Administration and as neuropsychiatrist at the 
Marine Hospital for the U. S. Public Health Service. He achieved 
the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Presently, Dr. Wortis is 
Director, Division of Pediatric Psychiatry at Jewish Hospital of 
Brooklyn and neuropsychiatrist at Central Manhattan Medicd 
Group. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and 
the New York Academy of Medicine, in addition to membership 
in city, state, and national psychiatric medicd associations. He is 
author of some seventy contributions to the scientific literature 
of psychiatry.